MTBE Links (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether)

MTBE stands for Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether. It is commonly used as a gasoline additive to reduce engine knocks. A law effectively banning MTBE in Missouri’s gasoline supply was passed in 2002. A phase-out was concluded July 1, 2005.

Public water systems are routinely tested for MTBE and if any were present in your water system, officials would notify you. MTBE has a very unpleasant taste and a strong turpentine-like odor. If you are on a private well you would be able to smell or taste MTBE contamination long before it would get to a harmful level. EPA has set an advisory level of 20 to 40 parts per billion (ppb) based on the ability of people with a sensitive sense of smell being able to detect it in this range.

Currently Active Sites Where MTBE has been Detected in a Public or Private Drinking Water Well in Missouri
(The eight public sites are shown in shaded cells)

Name City Drinking Water Wells Impacted Date MTBE first detected Highest Concentration of MTBE detected (ppb) How they get their drinking water now

1.

The Inside Lane Inc.

Sikeston

1

1/8/2002

1,980

Well is out of service. Business connected to city water.

2.

Oran

Oran

2

04/16/99

87

New drinking water well installed north of town. Concentrations in downgradient monitoring wells are decreasing.

3.

City of Kennett

Kennett

4

8/21/2006

Well #8 - 114
Well #5 - 1.69
Well #6 - 2.23
Well #9 - 2.80

Well #8 taken offline.
Wells #5, 6 and 9 are still being used.

4.

Big Boys Little Store

Osage Beach

2

10/24/00

14.9

City water is now being used.

5.

Ficken Hill Subdivision (U-Gas Cedar Hill)

Cedar Hill

2

4/21/1998

13.10

Level has subsided, well in use. Installed a new well.

6.

Miner

Miner

2

9/23/03

11.6

Currently using the well

7.

Shumaker Tire Co.

Golden

1

2/17/03

4.29

Currently using the well

8. City of Elsberry Elsberry 1 8/7/2002 1.17 Levels remain below advisory. Well still in use.

9.

Blue Harbor Marina

Osage Beach

5

09/15/92

17,000

New drinking water wells installed.

10.

MPC 18

O'Fallon

3

11/17/99

5,000

Connected to public water supply.

11.

Sinclair Retail #24053

St. Clair

1

07/21/97

1,370

New drinking water well installed.

12.

Dohickies Lesterville 1 7/23/2003 650 Installed a new well.

13.

SOS Convenience Store Cassville 1 8/26/1993 500 Impacted well replaced and SOS connected to city water.

14.

Former J & K Grocery & Package

Doniphan

1

11/2/2001

195

Impacted water line replaced. Well not in use.

15.

R & S MiniMart

Catawissa

7

6/17/1998

74.2

Installed two deeper wells. Residents on the remaining wells are still using their wells. Concentrations remain below MCLs.

16.

Miltenberger Office Building

Bolivar

1

8/12/02

35

Bottled water being used.

17.

Al and Peg's Café

Halfway

1

09/24/92

27

Hooked to the city well.

18.

Metro Express

Joplin

3

02/04/93

27

Connected to neighbor’s water supply.

19.

Wood Property (Villa Ridge Zephyr)

Villa Ridge

2

10/19/2000

8.7

Carbon filtration system and
chlorinator installed.

20.

Xpress Texaco Truck Stop

Carthage

1

7/28/1999

5.9

New drinking water well

20 sites

 

42 wells impacted

 

 

 

12/2009

EPA’s Advisory for MTBE = 20-40 ppb
Well replacement for some of these sites was financed through the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund.

Where can I get more information?

PUB2080--MTBE Summary of Facts (12/09) A fact sheet containing more information, maps and tables.