More Pump Problems At Bettendorf Gas Station - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

More Pump Problems At Bettendorf Gas Station

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More answers behind a possible tainted gas issue at a BP station in Bettendorf. A KWQC investigation has uncovered that the gas was tainted, meaning there was a large amount of water in the tanks.

The fuel was form the Big Ten BP gas station on Devils Glen and Middle roads. As far as moisture levels, they were several times what the should be but investigators were not able to pin point a cause. The station did remove that fuel and the state will do scheduled follow-up investigations on that issue.

Something else they discovered when they were here a week ago has to do with the octane levels at the pump and what drivers were paying for fuel. A report obtained from the Iowa Department of Agriculture's Weights and Measures Bureau shows that the same fuel of BP 89 octane was put in both 89 and 87 octane tanks and the station was charging drivers two different prices for the same octane of fuel. For example, if you wanted to fuel up with 89 octane at $3.09 a gallon, you could actually be getting the same fuel out of the 87 pump at, for example, $2.99 a gallon.

Inspectors say though that this setup does meet Federal Trade Commission regulations, as far as the posting the minimum octane ratings of what's going in the tank. But it is a gray area, where state code isn't clearly defined.

The station faces no penalties at this point, but it's a practice state inspectors say is questionable.

"They meet that minimum posting standard, but then you get into some other legal metrology in engine fuel quality questions and that's something we are trying to work out and decide at the state level," said Mike Manahl, Director of the Weights and Measures Bureau.

Molo Oil is the parent company of Big Ten Marts. KWQC reached out to the company for comment and our calls have not been returned.

This would be a very different situation if the station had, for example, 87 octane in both the 87 and 89 tanks and charged different prices. Then it would be a clear violation of FTC regulations. Violators can get sued with penalties up to $10,000 for each violation, which could be each day the practice continues.

State inspectors say if there's going to be action in this case it's going to be between state rules and regulations and station management. In situations they've encountered like this before the stations have simply been told to stop similar practices.

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