A cleanup company removed roughly 3,500 gallons of a mixture of oil, sand and water after a leak Sunday, Dec. 30, at a Gainesville convenience store.
Gainesville Fire spokesman Keith Smith said Sunday an estimated 500 gallons of gasoline leaked into the ground at the Texaco gas station at 1680 Park Hill Drive and into storm drains in Glenn Cove Apartments at 1750 Norton Drive.
The incident began after employees at the Fast and Friendly Food Mart told fire officials they believed the underground gasoline storage tanks were leaking, Smith said.
“The owner had recently filled the tanks and noticed that over the last two days, the tanks had lost approximately 500 gallons of gasoline,” he said.
Owner Shamsuddin Jindani said he thought someone might be stealing from the ethanol-free gas pump, which sits separately from regular gas pumps. The other pumps were operating normally.
Fire officials responded to the store about noon.
“Upon investigation, personnel found that there was an underground leak that had come above ground behind the business and entered the storm drains (at Glenn Cove),” Smith said.
Authorities determined a leaking fuel filter was to blame, and all cleanup and repairs finished around 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.
No one was injured, and the station has reopened.
Sand was used to absorb any gasoline that may have spread to the apartments’ parking lot.
“That sand has since been removed, and absorbent pads were placed to absorb any further chemicals. These pads will be replaced over the next couple of days as needed,” Smith wrote in an email.
The Environmental Protection Agency was notified of the incident.
Nick Watson contributed.