LAYTON — Scientists have identified the source of petroleum vapors in Layton that some residents last week said were making them sick.
"The source of gasoline odors in a Layton city neighborhood has been narrowed down to petroleum products in the groundwater," the Department of Environmental Quality said in a news release Friday.
Scientists drilled geoprobes in the neighborhood and analyzed the chemistry of the vapors, according to the release. They were able to identify petroleum products in groundwater adjacent to a Chevron gas station at 1034 W. Gentile St.
After it got into the soil, the petroleum "dissolved in the groundwater and moved along the natural pathway toward the neighborhood at the intersection of Gentile and Angel streets," the release states.
It then ran into a secondary track in a back-filled sewer trench and flowed into an old storm drain on Angel Street.
"We’re working with the owner of the gas station to see if the underground storage tanks are contributing to the plume," Brent Everett, director of the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation, said in the release.
"In addition we will continue our work to abate the vapors in the affected homes, identify all sources, define the extent of the plume, and begin cleanup efforts," Everett added.
Mark Berger, a resident who has been affected by the vapors, said that the situation has "improved significantly."3 comments on this story
“It’s nice to be getting back home and getting life back to normal," he said in the release.
Officials say they have been working since the smells were first reported Feb. 14 to determine the source.
Authorities installed vapor recovery systems in three homes with funds from Utah's hazardous Substance Mitigation Act, the release states, and the systems will soon be operational.
Anyone who smells petroleum odors in their homes or coming from storm drains should call 911 so the fire department can investigate.
Results from drinking water sampling showed no contamination, officials said.