West Price Hill residents worry about lingering effects of gas leak as air quality improves

The leak began Christmas Eve and resulted in around 360 gallons of gasoline leaking into the neighborhood’s sewer system.

Crews still working on West Price Hill gas leak

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Indoor air quality is improving in homes in the West Price Hill area after a large gas leak was discovered in the days following Christmas, according to a City of Cincinnati spokesperson.

Around 360 gallons of gasoline leaked into a sewer system in the West Side neighborhood starting Christmas Eve, according to MSD. The leak occurred in an underground gasoline storage tank at the Fast Stop Mini Mart in the 4500 block of West Eighth Street. The station was closed its gas pumps to prevent further leakage.

The fumes from the gas eventually traveled through private building sewers and entered homes entered homes on West Eighth Street, Carnation Avenue, Cappel Drive, and Hermosa Avenue, according to MSD.

As well as indoor air quality improving in the homes since the leak was discovered, fumes in the sewers have also been “greatly reduced,” the spokesperson said Wednesday.

Drinking water was not impacted by the leak, according to the spokesperson.

Emergency response crews are currently at work pumping out a mixture of gasoline and water from the underground storage tank area using a vacuum truck, the spokesperson says. Crews are also flushing sewers in the area to reduce gas fumes.

Around 100 gallons of the original 360 gallons of gasoline that leaked have been recovered.

The leak all but blindsided local residents like Carletta Tripllet, who says she smelled gas Christmas Eve before receiving notice about the problem.

“Throughout the two days, I had a headache,” she said, adding she had to light candles because her house smelled “like a really strong chemical smell.”

“It smelled like paint thinners to me,” Debbie Kessen said. “I immediately started running water down my drains because you could tell it was coming from the sewer.”

Both Tripllet and Kassen worry about the leak potential for lingering effects.

“I have a 6-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old,” Tripllet said. “How’s it affecting their lungs?”

“Hopefully it’s all dissipated,” Kessen said, “but how much did we take in that we have to worry about?”

Residents that are continuing to experience fumes in their homes are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Stop using ignition sources such as candles, matches, gas stoves, cigarettes, lighters and any other flaming devices;
  • Run water in basement floor drains to reduce fumes and odors in the home. If the drains don’t have a trap (U-shaped portion of the pipe), they should be plugged to stop odors from entering homes; and
  • Crack windows to reduce fumes that may cause irritation.

The Cincinnati Fire Department is responding to the incident alongside MSD, the Cincinnati Health Department, the Ohio EPA and the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulations.

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