Gasoline Leak Near Water Wells Being Cleaned Up

General Telephone Co. is working to prevent contamination to Santa Monica's water supply after discovering that 8,000 gallons of gasoline had leaked from an underground tank at its vehicle storage yard, 2909 Exposition Blvd.

Stan Scholl, city director of general services, said a layer of clay prevented the gasoline from flowing into two nearby water wells. Scholl added that there is no danger of the gasoline igniting.

Telephone company workers discovered the leak Feb. 19 and immediately emptied the gasoline tank and started the cleanup effort, but the information was not made public until this week, the company said. Scholl said the wells still threatened by the leakage supply less than 10% of the city's water and will be shut down if there is a trace of contamination.

Telephone company officials estimate that the cleanup and tank replacement will cost $200,000 to $250,000. A meeting on the cleanup, which must be approved by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, is planned for Friday by the phone company and the water board.

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