MAYFLOWER (KATV) - This week, an independent report revealed it was a manufacturer defect in Exxon Mobil's pipeline that was the root cause of the Mayflower oil spill in March 2013.
Exxon has not yet released the report to the public, but the company says an outdated welding process led to the hook-shaped cracks, and ultimately, the pipe's failure. Though the pipe manufacturer and the welding method are no longer in use, the pipes in the ground are in use.About 400,000 people rely on the Lake Maumelle watershed to provide clean, safe water for their families, but since the oil spill in Mayflower, safety for the watershed itself has been called into question.John Tynan is the Watershed Protection Manager for Central Arkansas Water. He says there's only one way to guarantee the watershed is safe."Relocate the pipeline out of the watershed. That's the only way to completely eliminate the risk that the pipeline poses," said Tynan.We now know small cracks in the seam of the pipe was the root cause of the spill, KATV asked Exxon how many pipes made, using that welding technique, are still in use in Arkansas. This was the company's response."It would be premature to conclude that other pipeline segments manufactured by Youngstown Sheet and Tube are susceptible to failure."The CAW received a similar answer."We need this information in order to verify the safety and integrity of the pipeline," said Tynan.However, Tynan says he's not giving up on the issue."We're not going to let this go. We're going to continue to ask for this information," said Tynan.Tynan said the CAW is also waiting to see a copy of the independent report to determine if any other conditions led to the pipe's failure.