State shuts down gas pumps after contaminated fuel found


CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — 8News is taking action after a Midlothian-area gas station was found to be pumping out contaminated gas to its customers. 

After receiving complaints, the Department of Agriculture was called to a BP on Midlothian Turnpike to investigate. Following test results, 8News has learned that some gas was mixed with large amounts of water. 

“There is a little bit of water inside of fuel, but this was over the threshold,” said Michael Wallace, of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

Wallace told 8News that a normal tank of fuel is allowed to have up to half an inch of water. A tank at the BP located at 14008 Midlothian Turnpike was measuring six inches of water, however. 

“We immediately condemned those tanks,” Wallace said.

8News went to the BP gas station and saw that both the premium and mid-grade gas was condemned because it’s a blend of premium and regular fuel. 

Regular gas could still be used, however. 

Inspections of the gas are conducted bi-annually unless a complaint is filed. On Monday, the department received one, thus an investigation. 
Inspectors went out to collect a fuel sample. 

On Friday, the state confirmed there were indeed high levels of water in the premium tank. 

8News first learned about possible gas issues after a woman reached out and said her car was damaged after pumping premium gas at the BP over Easter weekend. 

Billy Allen, a mechanic with Allen Tire, said contaminated gas could cause issues to vehicles. 

“It can affect the fuel pump,” he said. “You absolutely have to flush out all the fuel lines and then there are fuel injectors that they can damage too. Sometimes they can be physically cleaned or they have to be pulled out and replaced.”

8News spoke with the BP manager over the phone and he said that six people have come forward with complaints. The business’ liability insurance will cover the cost of damage if a repair receipt is provided from a dealership. He added that in 11 years, he’s never encountered an issue like this.

While they still don’t know what exactly caused the mishap, the pumps will remain out of commission until the issues are fixed. When that happens, inspectors tell 8News they will return to take another sample. 

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