By Angela Jones

The Stuart Town Council may ask the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help the town identify the source of the improper disposal of oil.

Town Manager Terry Tilley explained that while there have been no reported incidents in more than a month, oil started to appear at the town’s water treatment plant about six months ago.

“It appears to be around 55 to 60 gallons of oil being poured down a drain,” Tilley said.

The improper disposal causes the “bugs and germs at the treatment center to die, increasing chemical and bacterial levels and causing everything to go septic,” said Chris Corbett, the town’s attorney.

The oil comes into the center and lines the walls. Some can be moved to the sludge digesters, but most of the oil flows into the river.

“Oil can’t be treated,” said Tilley. “It is being dumped so quick, just think a drain pipe is only eight- to 10-inches” in diameter. “This has to be an ‘inside’ job rather than an outside job,” he added, noting that whoever is disposing of the oil cannot do it during the daylight for fear of being seen, unless a man hole is being used in the early morning hours….

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