TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Mon, March 30

Watered down gas in Clarkdale

The Arizona Department of Weights and Measures has determined that Number One Food Store in Clarkdale has an unacceptable level of water in its fuel tank for premium regular gasoline.

The premium pump handles have been "bagged" to prevent customers from using the type of fuel. Tests by DWM found that the station's regular and diesel fuels were not contaminated and may continue to be sold reliably.

The tests were prompted by the complaint of a woman who reportedly developed engine trouble after using the gasoline. A state inspector reported that two vehicles at the station were disabled at the time he visited, though he could not confirm the problem was related to the fuel.

Steve Meissner, Communications Director for the state department reported that the test showed that the tank containing the premium fuel contained 3 and one-half inched of water in the tank that was only partially filled with gasoline. The agency uses a standard allowing up to one inch of water in a full storage tank as a ceiling for allowable water contamination.

Meissner says the agency uses three colored tags to show the degree of violation and the blue tag given the premium fuel at #1 is the highest level of violation.

He says, the level of violation means that the business must have a "registered service representative" flush the tank while an agency representative is present. The contractor will also be expected to determine where the water originated and how the problem should be repaired.

The store could face a penalty as high as $500 depending upon circumstances.

Linda Coles, one of the owners says the store has paid to have two cars towed and repaired and paid for the fuel they lost.

Since a waterline was installed uphill from the gas pumps, Coles says, water has flooded the pump island when it rains heavily as it did over the weekend.

She says the seals on the premium tank are also being checked to make sure there is no further leakage.

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