547,000 gallons of contaminated pipeline test water trucked to Maine plant; Kinder Morgan says culprit was a holding tank
SANDISFIELD — A holding tank for water used to test the integrity of a new pipeline here was responsible for a spike in contaminants, forcing the pipeline company to haul about 547,000 gallons of it to a wastewater treatment plant in Maine.
Water drawn from Lower Spectacle Pond in Otis State Forest to pressure test four miles of a natural gas spur will be trucked to a Clean Harbor facility in Portland that is approved to treat it, according to Kinder Morgan spokesman David Conover.
Hydrostatic pressure testing is required for all new pipelines before they can flow gas or oil.
But before the water is released, its contamination can’t exceed certain levels set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, under which Tennessee Gas has its permit to discharge water.
Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. had originally planned to release the water into an upland area after drawing it into pipes in the Massachusetts portion of the company’s 13-mile Connecticut Expansion Project.
"The elements were present in the tank used to store the water prior to testing it for discharge," Conover told The Eagle in an email.
So in a late September filing with the EPA, the company said that it had hired industrial water treatment outfit ProAct Services Corp. to build a system on site in an attempt to reduce contaminant levels.
It appears that did not work.
In 2014, Winn had written the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs about what might come out of the freshly laid pipes, but also about erosion, even from a controlled water release.
"The risk of erosion was pretty high."