Southwest Side Alderman Warns Residents About Gas Station With Water In Gas Tanks

Bernie Tafoya
June 13, 2019 - 12:35 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Southwest Side alderman is warning residents about a local gas station that has had yet another problem with water in its underground gas tanks. 

19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea said a number of people wound up with water in their cars’ gas tanks with thousands of dollars in repairs after buying gas at the Shell on 99th and Western.

“They know there’s a problem, but they’re not shutting it down in time, quick enough. But, the problem here is this is the third time in four years," he said.

Ald. O’Shea said that same gas station had had problems with water getting into customers gas tanks in 2015, 2018 and last month.

“This most recent time, last month, when the investigator pulled up, there was an environmental company here addressing the problem," he said.

19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea is warning residents about a local gas station that has had yet another problem with water in its underground gas tanks.
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

Peter Amraen claims to be one of the victims and said he had a $6,200 repair bill to his Volkswagen Jetta.

“I just want to see the business punished. I think they should be fined or have their license revoked or something,” Amraen said. 

He said his insurance company is paying for the repairs, but that he had to pay a $500 deductible. Amraen said the manager of the Shell was not very polite with him or his mother, but that the owner was more responsive, despite rejecting Amraen’s claim.

The 25-year-old man said his car had to be towed and that his mechanic pulled out a sample of what was in his gas tank - 70 percent water, 30 percent gas.

Sample of water in gas tanks
Photo provided by Peter Amraen

Meanwhile, Ald. O’Shea said residents he’s heard from said they’re getting the run around from the gas station or its insurance company.

“It’s not one car. It’s several cars in that period of time after the rain, when the water gets in the tank are stalling out,” O'Shea said. 

The owner of the Shell on 99th and Western disputes that Peter Amraen was a victim and said that, when Amraen bought gas on May 5, there was no water in the underground tanks.  

Shell on 99th and Western
WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

The owner, whose first name is Faheem, also said the heavy rainfalls caused the water in the underground tanks at about 50 gas stations. He said the issue was “a natural disaster” and that “no one was at fault.”  

The owner said that, when he learned about the water in the tanks, he immediately had the tanks shutdown. He also said several of his customers are being taken care of by his insurance company.