Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Pools of water believed to contain human waste prompted inspectors from the health department to cite and temporarily close a Louisville gas station.
The Circle K gas station, near the intersection of Taylorsville Road and Pope Lick Road, was issued a "notice of correction" and forced to close late Friday for three hours, according to Connie Mendel, an environmental health administrator with Louisville Metro's Health and Wellness Department.
The gas station was able to reopen late Friday after agreeing to hire a waste hauler and have the malfunctioning tanks pumped, Mendel said.
The leaks are also raising environmental concerns from a watchdog group which fears the contaminated waste water pooling in a field could run into a nearby Floyds Fork and Pope Lick creeks.
"We did close the facility on Friday since they did not have a functioning septic system. This would be anything coming out of the hand sinks or the restrooms," Mendel said.
Calling it a "public health issue" she said two inspectors found there "is waste water on top of the ground. That right there tells you the system is malfunctioning."
WDRB attempted to speak with the gas station's manager but we were told he had left for the day. A number for the store was given to a reporter, but he was denied a request for an email or cell phone number for the manager.
"It does pose a tremendous problem for them," said Teena Halbig with the Floyds Fork Environmental Association. She is concerned with the leak.
The leaking septic system is about 200 yards from Floyds Fork and Pope Lick Creek.
"It's very concerning because this is in front of Floyds Fork Park. Lots of people access the park there," Halbig said.
Mendel said the septic tanks' "lateral lines" may have been damaged by farm equipment but she could not say for certain.
"We want to prevent any environmental contamination. Currently, nothing has left the site," Mendel said.
Halbig, a microbiologist, argues the contaminates could have easily left the site and leaked into Floyds Fork and its tributaries.
"It's a wonderful resource and we have to take care of it. This business will need to take care of this problem," Halbig said.
Mendel said the gas station has since "partially complied" but said that inspectors are still visiting the site daily.