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Gas Station Impacts on Our Local Water Supply

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From running errands to running the lawnmower, gas fuels most of what we do in modern life. It’s a big part of our every day, though sometimes it can be good to get a little distance. We don’t really need a gas station on every other street corner, do we? Sure, convenience is nice, but some things just don’t mix. Like oil and water, how about gasoline and water?

Gasoline Water Contamination

Products that put groundwater at risk for contamination include road salt, oil spills, and even our lawn fertilizers. They introduce contaminants to our water supply on a daily basis. Gas stations pose a big threat too. Rain water can wash all those little drips and puddles of gasoline from the pump straight into our storm drains. These buildings must be placed strategically. If we aren’t careful, a surplus of gas stations can lead to a massive increase in local water pollution.

Drinking water that’s contaminated with gasoline can cause headaches and dizziness as well as other, more serious health effects. The chemical compound benzene, for example, is shown to cause leukemia in people. Other smaller chemical compounds in gasoline, such as benzene, will affect the nervous system in different ways.

Collectively, these contaminants are called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. Only certain water filters and can reverse osmosis (RO) systems can remove them effectively. The right filtration setup will remove VOCs, lead, chlorine, and a whole lot more from your family’s drinking water. But without a good home defense in place, your tap water might be at risk.

Drink Water, Not Gas

Lately we’ve been following the news about a proposed gas station development here on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Many of the residents have raised specific concerns about the possible impacts a new gas station might have on the surrounding ecosystem and local water supply.

The property in question is on the southwest corner of 86th and Lafayette, right across the street from the local elementary school, Fishback Creek Public Academy. Area citizens and neighbors are speaking up for many reasons. Environmental concerns are definitely at the  forefront:

  • Fishback Creek runs through the back of the property.

    If the gas station is built, gas spills will have easy access to both Fishback Creek and Eagle Creek Reservoir—which is one of our primary water sources in Indy. Any additional pollution could make widespread water treatment and filtration efforts even harder to manage.

  • One-third of the property is located in an official flood zone.

    Those types of areas are more susceptible to pollution and can easily draw new contaminants into our groundwater supply.

  • Many of the neighbors have private wells.

    If these families don’t have a good well water filtration system in place, new groundwater pollutants can compromise the safety of their drinking water.

  • There are over 30 gas stations in an approximate 5-mile radius.

    With so many gas pumps nearby, is yet another gas station really necessary? The environmental and public health concerns are just too risky.

As of this posting date, oral arguments for the property’s zoning permit are set for October 11, 201. The Neighbors Concerned about the Development at 86th and Lafayette Road are working on getting more local residents to sign their “Do Not Build” petition.

Anyone who opposes the new gas station should connect with their Facebook group: Drink Water Not Gas. (Aptly named, right?)

We’re supporting their mission here at Indy Soft Water. We hope you consider doing the same! Visit the 86th and Lafayette Road website for the latest gas station updates, and please give us a shout if you have any other concerns about the water in your Indianapolis area.

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