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Ohio City Eases Water Emergency

February 21, 1988

FREMONT, Ohio (AP) _ Four days after a ruptured pipeline spilled a toxic chemical into the city’s water supply, restaurants were allowed to reopen Sunday morning.

Local industries were expected to resume operations Sunday night, Mayor Fred Singer said.

An estimated 100,000 gallons of toluene leaked Wednesday from a ruptured Sun Co. pipeline near Tiffin in northern Ohio, causing 5,000 evacuations and polluting the Sandusky River, which supplies water for the city of Fremont.

On Thursday, Singer declared a water emergency, ordering schools and businesses to close.

The city’s 22,000 residents were asked to conserve water, since the city could store only 4 million gallons in its storage tanks, but additional water had to be trucked in Saturday.

″It’s fixed,″ Singer said Sunday after officials set up a process Saturday that removed the chemical from the water.

Singer said the city began pumping limited amounts of water from the Ballville Dam around 1 p.m. Saturday after a 13-hour-long purification process convinced officials of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the city water department that the water was safe to drink.

Bud Davis, a spokesman for Sun Pipe Line, said cleanup crews will remain in Fremont for several weeks to continue random testing of the water, ground and air for toluene.

The pipeline, one of hundreds of underground pipelines that crisscross Ohio, carried toluene a Toledo refinery to another refinery in Marcus Hook, Pa., where it is used as a gasoline octane enhancer.

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