Watered-Down gas in North Little Rock

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – “This is fuel that was taken out of my car,” explained Regina Butler as she held up a jar full of what looked like water. Butler says she bought the watered down fuel at a Shell station on J.F.K. Boulevard in North Little Rock. Then less than a mile away, her car broke down.

“It wasn’t fun at all,” said Butler. “Not being stranded in the middle of J.F.K. where there’s traffic on each side coming at you real quick and I was in the turning lane.”

Obviously Butler is a victim here. But guess what? The gas station owner says he is too.

“She did buy fuel from us,” said station owner David Zakrzewski, “and it was contaminated based on someone else’s act.”

The key words there? “Based on someone else’s act.” Zakrzewski says the state paid a contractor to drill a well hole at his Shell station for a completely unrelated problem. During that drilling, they accidentally clipped a vent pipe. Water got in the pipe, and in turn, into the gas.

The Department of Environmental Control confirms Zakrzewski’s account, except they say the gas station’s former owner hired the contractor, not the state.

Regardless, the contractor drilled the hole this week to continue the long process of cleaning up a gas spill from 12 years ago. That leads us to the good news today.

“That key thing is nothing went into the environment that was bad, said Zakrzewski, “so we can fix all of the little problems we had.”

As for Butler’s problem, Zakrzewski is going to take care of that too, paying the $600 it’ll take to fix her car.

“That sounds good to me,” laughed Butler. “I’ll take it.”

The Shell station only had a problem with their plus fuel, not regular or premium. Zakrzewski says because that fuel grade isn’t a top seller, only three customers bought bad gas.

The Bureau of Standards says management at the Shell station worked to fix the plus fuel problem as soon as they figured it out, so now there is no need to be concerned about getting gas from that station.

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