Gasoline leak reported by Gallatin Homeowner

Posted: 10:56 PM, Jan 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-05 04:56:14Z

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Sumner County woman said she is afraid for her safety after gasoline started leaking into her backyard.

Rhonda Jent said she has lived at her home on Perrolee Street in Gallatin for 21 years, and the area around her home has always been prone to flooding. However, about five months ago, she noticed a strange smell and a new concern.

“It looked like clumpy oil coming up through there,” said Jent. “I was afraid it was from someone’s sewer.”

Soon the oily substance was running from a hole in the ground behind her house, along a fence, to a drainage ditch to the side of her house. Jent said she quickly realized it was gasoline.

“The smell is horrible,” said Jent. “On hot days or warm days, it’s really tough to take.”

Rhonda reached out to the city of Gallatin multiple times for help. This week, the city set up booms to skim oil off the water, as well as a sign by the property to warn residents about the hazard.

City Engineer Lance Wagner said he has been to the site several times to inspect the problem. He described the substance as a “petroleum derivative.” He said it is possible the leak could be coming from an underground fuel tank, or from a nearby gas station. The city was working with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to find out more.

Jent said she is concerned about the long term impact of the gasoline on her health, and her property values.

“It is getting dangerously close to my house, and I don’t want it to get up under my house,” said Jent. “I just want it fixed.”

Jent said it has been frustrating not knowing what the substance is, but she is hopeful the city and state will come up with an answer soon.

At this point, it’s unknown when the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation will wrap up its investigation.

Residents are encouraged to reach out to the city of Gallatin Engineering Department with concerns at (615) 451-5965.