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Saltwater leaks from pipeline into creek

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MARMARTH, N.D. -- About 50 barrels of saltwater leaked from a pipeline about 9½ miles south of Marmarth and got into the nearby Kid Creek.

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The saltwater leaked from an underground pipeline delivering water from one formation to a deeper oil-producing formation for a flooding operation, said Kris Roberts of the North Dakota Department of Health.

Denbury Onshore LLC reported the leak, which it discovered about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Health Department has inspectors at the site and will test waters upstream and downstream to assess the spill’s impact.

About 1½ miles downstream from the leak is an irrigation pond, which will serve as a kind of dam and likely contain much of the leaked fluid, Roberts said.

The area where the leak was discovered will be cleaned up, and as for the rest, “saltwater is completely soluble, it’s just going to dilute,” he said.

The leak is on private land, but the irrigation pond is on federal national grasslands.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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