The Endee pipeline leak-implications for treating ground-water contamination beneath the Great Plains, eastern New Mexico
William J. Stone
In November 1992, a major petroleum pipeline between Amarillo, TX and Albuquerque, NM ruptured, spraying thousands of gallons of jet fuel onto the ground at a site 27 mi east of Tucumcari, NM. The so-called "Endee site" is characterized by Triassic redbeds (Chinle Formation) overlain by Quaternary eolian sand. Monitoring wells installed at the site revealed up to 8 ft of free product floating on a body of perched ground water within the eolian cover sand, approximately 16 to 36 ft below the site. Although yields are low and quality is poor, the redbeds are the major source of water for area ranches. However, this ground water is vulnerable to contamination due to its shallow depth. The overlying eolian sand is porous and readily takes up spills. Such contamination may first show up in local perched water bodies in the sand, where it is easier to clean up than if it reaches the redbeds, which are fairly tight. Where perched saturation is present, it serves as a buffer for the deeper groundwater, but clean-up should be prompt before contamination reaches the regional system.
- Stone, William J., 2001, The Endee pipeline leak-implications for treating ground-water contamination beneath the Great Plains, eastern New Mexico, in: Geology of the Llano Estacado, Lucas, Spencer G.; Ulmer-Scholle, Dana S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 52nd Field Conference, pp. 317-319.