Saltwater Pipeline Bursts in Northwest North Dakota

August 1, 2011

A Texas company says an underground saltwater pipeline ruptured in northwest North Dakota and flooded about 40 acres of farmland and wetlands.

Frisco-based Petro Harvester Operating Co. tells the Minot Daily News that the break in the 3-inch pipeline was discovered last week and immediately reported to state regulators and the health department.

Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production. The company says more than 12,000 gallons of the briny water likely leaked from the ruptured pipeline though county officials say they suspect it could me many times that.

Farmer Darwin Peterson says he didn’t plant crops on the affected land this year. He says saltwater will make the land unusable in the future.

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