BISMARCK – A pipeline leak has spilled 1,520 barrels, or 63,840 gallons, of produced water onto rangeland in far western North Dakota about 14 miles west of Kildeer.

The pipeline was part of a gathering system owned by Petro-Hunt LLC.

Bill Suess, with the North Dakota Department of Health, said the landowner has been notified after the leak was discovered on Wednesday, Sept. 19, by the company when readings on pipeline meters were going funky.

He said remedial efforts will be needed on the land.

The produced water, or brine, can contain chemicals used in the oil drilling fracking process and is a waste byproduct.

The pipeline leak is still being investigated as it was about four to five feet below the surface and initial checks weren’t able to determine if the leak was where the produced water rose to the surface or was farther up the pipeline.

Suess said they were able to stop the produced water from reaching a nearby dry creek bed.

The cause of the leak is still under investigation.

Personnel from the NDDoH have inspected the site and will continue to monitor the investigation and remediation.