Officials: Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused mystery odor in P - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Officials: Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused mystery odor in Philadelphia homes

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Extreme Sports Opens Its Doors In The Meadowbrook Mall

    Extreme Sports Opens Its Doors In The Meadowbrook Mall

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:44:28 GMT
    Extreme Sports opened its doors to the public Friday in the Meadowbrook Mall offering many unique sporting items.
    Extreme Sports opened its doors to the public Friday in the Meadowbrook Mall offering many unique sporting items.
  • State Police and WVU Give Students a Look at Crime Scene Investigations

    State Police and WVU Give Students a Look at Crime Scene Investigations

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:57:06 GMT
    The West Virginia State Police took it's mobile forensic center to the WVU campus for future crime scene investigators to check out.Middle school and high school students from all over went to the university to learn several different methods for crime scene investigating.
    The West Virginia State Police took it's mobile forensic center to the WVU campus for future crime scene investigators to check out.Middle school and high school students from all over went to the university to learn several different methods for crime scene investigating.
  • Mountaineer Mall Area Robotics Hosts First FRC Competition in West Virginia

    Mountaineer Mall Area Robotics Hosts First FRC Competition in West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:56:21 GMT
    It was the first of it's kind. The state of West Virginia has never hosted a First Robotics Competition until now. Twenty four teams, from 13 states and 2 countries, competed for the top spot at the WVU Recreation Center."The practice matches we did were the first FRC matches ever done in West Virginia," said Autumn Baker, a Mountaineer Area RoboticS team member. "That feels really good that we can sort of pioneer this type of event."Mountaineer Area Robotics (MARS) put together the event tha...
    It was the first of it's kind. The state of West Virginia has never hosted a First Robotics Competition until now. Twenty four teams, from 13 states and 2 countries, competed for the top spot at the WVU Recreation Center."The practice matches we did were the first FRC matches ever done in West Virginia," said Autumn Baker, a Mountaineer Area RoboticS team member. "That feels really good that we can sort of pioneer this type of event."Mountaineer Area Robotics (MARS) put together the event tha...
SKIPPACK, Pa. (AP) -  Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused the mysterious smell that led to a voluntary evacuation of more than 150 homes in suburban Philadelphia, authorities said Monday.

The noxious odor primarily affected three townhouses in Skippack after contaminated water got into the sump pumps, officials said. Firefighters were flushing those pumps with fresh water and airing out the homes with fans on Monday evening.

"We're relieved and hopeful that what they're doing will fix it," said resident Kourtnay Loughin, who called 911 about the "very, very unpleasant" smell on Sunday evening.

Officials don't know how the gas got into the groundwater, but Fire Chief Haydn Marriott said residents' health was not in danger. He also noted the substance was found in a system with sealed pipes, creating little chance of contamination to the surrounding area's water supply.

Firefighters and environmental officials used sensors Sunday night to try to identify the problem. Residents of more than 150 townhouses were asked to leave after chemical odors were detected at several units.

Metered equipment originally indicated the presence of hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas, in the homes, but officials later said those readings were false positives. No signs of illness were reported.

By Monday morning, Marriott said authorities had determined sump pumps as the source of the smell, but could not identify its composition. As labs began analyzing samples, officials retested some houses and allowed owners to return after finding no danger.

Loughin's unit and the two next door registered high levels of the chemical odor.

"It's more of an annoyance than anything," Marriott said.

Readings in 25 other units Monday found "negligible" levels of chemicals, likely attributable to common household items, he said. The rest of the townhomes had no detectable chemical compounds.

Marriott said his department spoke to the water authority several times Sunday. "They assured us that there was no problem with the water, that they were going to take care of the testing on their end," he said.

Officials plan to monitor the affected homes in the coming days.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.