So “377,000 gallons of coolant was spilled [that]contained a corrosion inhibitor called 3D Trasar 3DT289, which contains up to 5 percent phosphoric acid and up to 5 percent sulfuric acid, both of which can be hazardous at higher concentrations.”
It is important to note that after tests are taken up to several hours later, the damage had been done to the St. Mary’s. The “coolant” will pass along downstream and become diluted. It is naive to think that “it should pose no danger to residents or the environment.”
Phosphoric Acid – The phosphate may persist indefinitely in water. Is considered hazardous and burns skin….see for yourself. – http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/p3973.htm
Sulfuric Acid is a musculoskeletal toxicant, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant
No fines assessed? What do you think?
Published:February 26, 2010 3:00 a.m.
GE plant coolant spills in river; no threat seen
Benjamin Lanka and Dan Stockman
The Journal Gazette
More than 300,000 gallons of coolant water spilled into the St. Marys River from General Electrics Taylor Street plant this week, but company and state officials said it should pose no danger to residents or the environment.
GE employees discovered a water tower line break at 4 a.m. Monday, according to Matt Conkrite, company spokesman.
The leak was stopped by 10 a.m., but not before an estimated 377,000 gallons of the coolant spilled into the river, according to records from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Conkrite said the coolant water is used to keep machinery such as the air conditioner cool and also can be used as fire suppressant.
It should not cause health problems for residents, he said.
We know for a fact there are traces of chlorine, but they are identified at levels well within normal city water, Conkrite said.
The coolant also contained a corrosion inhibitor called 3D Trasar 3DT289, which contains up to 5 percent phosphoric acid and up to 5 percent sulfuric acid, both of which can be hazardous at higher concentrations. The product is used in water systems to prevent lime deposits and other buildup that can clog pipes, valves and tanks.
Conkrite said the levels found in the river after testing were not a threat to anyone or the environment.
Attempts to reach Environmental Remediation Services of Fort Wayne, which handled the cleanup, were unsuccessful Thursday.
IDEM spokeswoman Amber Finkelstein said water samples were taken in the St. Marys River both upstream and downstream from where the stormwater pipe empties into the water.
At this time theres been no sign of stress to aquatic life, Finkelstein said.
Conkrite said the break occurred on an older line at the Taylor Street plant and the company was trying to correct the problem, possibly by bypassing the old line altogether.
The line that broke was a 16-inch pipe below a concrete floor, according to the state.
The coolant came out of the break and ran partly to the plants basement, or pit, and partly out a side garage door to the loading dock and into the storm drain.
Conkrite said the spill caused no damage to the rest of the plant.