DEQ still testing water contaminated by chemical plant fire

Saturday, July 24th 2004, 11:31 am
By: News On 6

WEWOKA, Okla. (AP) _ State environmental officials are still running tests on 450,000 gallons of water contaminated during a fire at a chemical company here.

The Department of Environmental Quality must dispose of the contaminated water from Wednesday's blaze at Cochran Chemical Co., officials said Friday.

The water, equivalent to 17 average in-ground home pools, is being held in tank trucks until tests determine the strength of chemical contamination and the best way to dispose of the water, DEQ spokeswoman Monty Elder said.

``We are still running tests on that wastewater to determine what needs to be done with it, because it's clear that some chemicals from Cochran ran off and became mixed with that water that was being poured on it to fight the fire,'' Elder said.

Preliminary tests found several solvents from Cochran, Elder said.

The department is trying to determine whether the water's contamination level is low enough that the water treatment plant can handle it.