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Dickinson Rural Fire Department Chief Andy Paulson walks near a saltwater spill about 3 miles west of Dickinson on Tuesday. A contractor ruptured an underground oil field saltwater line along Highway 10 just west of Dickinson sometime Tuesday afternoon or evening, Paulson said.

Saltwater line by Highway 10 severed

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Saltwater line by Highway 10 severed
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Contractors working on an underground line severed a saltwater line just west of Dickinson on Tuesday, causing the liquid to spill into a ditch.

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Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser said he received a call at 7:39 p.m. alerting him that a line had been ruptured in a north side ditch along Highway 10, about 3 miles west of Dickinson.

Heiser and Dickinson Rural Fire Department Chief Andy Paulson were on the scene of the spill shortly after it was reported by a passerby who noticed a pool of steaming liquid north of the highway, according to Paulson.

"At this point, we don't know exactly what happened," said Paulson at about 8:45 p.m. "We do know that the line has been shut off. We're just lucky that somebody noticed this before dark or it could have gone on a lot longer."

Paulson said he did not believe the spill would cause safety concerns for residents in the immediate area.

Heiser indicated Tuesday that an oil field vacuum truck was en route to remove the remaining puddle of saltwater after county workers erected a small dam in the ditch to halt the spread of the liquid. Saltwater is a chemically-laced oil field waste liquid commonly used in the oil and gas extraction process.

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Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
(701) 456-1207
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