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Forum News Service, Published July 02 2013

Passer-by helps catch saltwater spill west of Dickinson

DICKINSON, N.D. - Contractors working on an underground line severed a saltwater line just west of Dickinson on Tuesday, causing the liquid to spill into a ditch.

Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser said he received a call at 7:39 p.m. alerting him that a line had been ruptured in a north side ditch along Highway 10, about three miles west of Dickinson.

Heiser and Dickinson Rural Fire Department Chief Andy Paulson were on the scene of the spill shortly after it was reported by a passer-by who noticed a pool of steaming liquid north or the highway, according to Paulson.

“At this point, we don’t know exactly what happened,” Paulson said at about 8:45 p.m. “We do know that the line has been shut off. We’re just lucky that somebody noticed this before dark or it could have gone on a lot longer.”

Paulson said he did not believe the spill would cause safety concerns for residents in the immediate area.

Heiser indicated Tuesday that an oil field vacuum truck was en route to remove the remaining puddle of saltwater after county workers erected a small dam in the ditch to halt the spread of the liquid. Saltwater is a chemically laced oil field waste liquid commonly used in the oil and gas extraction process.