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Tanker car water to be tested

Crews came out Monday to remove water for testing
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Several bottlefuls of water were removed from the tank car involved in the August tanker fire on Monday morning. The contents of the tank car, 29,000 gallons of propane, burned from Aug. 23 to 24, causing the evacuation of 4,800 downtown businesses and residences. Employees from Union Tank Car Company arrived at the site around 10:30 a.m. Monday, scaling the tank car and removing water to be tested. The water was taken by Neal Ellis, of Stockton-based Chemical Transfer, to Stockton for testing. As of press time, the results of the testing were not available, according to Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. The water is being tested to determine where it can be disposed of, said Whitt on Monday. Whitt said the tanker car contains water and AFFF foam, and could contain the chemical methyl mercaptan and propane. The test results will determine where the water can be offloaded, which needs to happen so the tank car can be moved to another location for a forensic investigation, according to Whitt. Whitt said it is not yet known when the tank car would be moved. Depending on the level of chemicals in the water, it could be treated at Lincoln’s water treatment plant, according to Whitt. “If we can’t take it, it will go to a hazardous material receiving site,” Whitt said.