Inspector tags water tainted diesel and stops sale

Inspector tags water tainted diesel and stops sale

When there's a possible hurricane, it's no time to get bad fuel, resulting in a vehicle that won't run. It happened to a local man whose truck had to be hauled away.

But the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has stopped the sale of the water tainted diesel in Vinton.

Marcus Belizare came here to the Tiger Mart off I-10 Exit Eight in Vinton and filled his truck with diesel. Next thing he knows, his truck won't start.

"Immediately I noticed problems with my vehicle and I wasn't able to crank my vehicle. I alerted the gas owner what happened and he told me that he had no problems with the gas," said Belizare.

The truck had to be towed away to the dealer for repairs.  Expensive repairs.

"It was actually three people who actually had damages and each one of us got the same quote which was about $12,000," Belizare said.

Belizare complained to the LDAF's Division of Weights and Measures.

Almost immediately, Enforcement Supervisor Tricia Berry arrived. Her inspection revealed water in the diesel fuel.

"There is a little bit of water in the bottom of the tank and we will have them drain it out before they put more fuel in the tank," Berry said.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain confirms that the pumps were red tagged and sealed to protect consumers. There will be a re-inspection before the station can sell diesel again.

Berry explained. "Sometimes water does accumulate. Sometimes there could be a leak in the system somewhere. They just have to keep on top of the situation and make sure that if there's any water in the tank it's drained out immediately," he said.

"It's very serious. Not only to me but the community and everybody else during this hurricane," said Belizare.

Strain said a stop sale is always immediate when they find a problem with fuel or other issues such as pumps not working properly.

Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain welcomes complaints from consumers. To contact the LDAF Agro-Consumer Services Department, call 1-800-247-1086.

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