Controversial Photo Has Local Truck Stop In Hot Water

Controversial Photo Has Local Truck Stop In Hot Water

Wichita Falls -

  A photo taken of an employee at a local business in Wichita Falls spraying down their gas pumps with water is gaining a lot of attention online.

The incident happened at Flying J Truck Stop located on Old Jacksboro Highway.

The viewer who sent the photo to Newschannel 6 wants to remain anonymous, but told us the photo was taken early Wednesday morning. 

Upon receiving this picture our news team  reached out to the city and business about this concern. 

Newschannel 6 called and asked to speak with the manager at Flying  J on Thursday.  Mark Hand, manager at the truck stop did confirm to us the business was using city water to clean diesel spills by pumps, to prevent truck drivers who come to fill up their big rigs from injury.

We went to the business to show the manager the picture taken and posted via Facebook. After a few questions regarding their use of city water in Stage Five Drought Restrictions, Hand refused to talk and kicked us off their property. They told us from that point on, their legal team would handle the matter. 

Newschannel 6 also spoke with Russell Schreiber, Wichita falls Director of Public Works about the issue and he said what the business is doing is against the law.

"The ordinance as written eliminates, prohibits, the use of city water to wash down sidewalks, structures, driveways, patios, and that type of things,” said Schreiber. “In stage three we allowed it for environmental hazards or things along that line, but in stage four and five, we eliminated."

He told us us there are other ways outside of using city water to clean up spills. 

Schreiber said some people have access to use treated effluent water from the river road treatment plant. He also said there are businesses that you can contract that will offer clean up services.

Schreiber said he has plans to meet with management to discuss  the business options and ensure that they understand Stage Five Drought Restrictions.

We contacted corporate and left a message. We are still waiting on them to provide a statement. 

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6

We received this statement from Pilot Travel Centers on Friday, Oct. 24 at 8:20 a.m.


Oct. 23, 2014


Anne LeZotte, Communications Manager

Office: 865-474-3028


We appreciate your concerns about the recent water drought. We can assure you that Pilot

Flying J takes the water shortage seriously and that we are doing our best to conserve water.

However, in this instance, there was a diesel spill at the fuel island, which created a hazard for

our customers and environment and thus required immediate clean up. The water was used

solely to flush the diesel fuel into the travel center's oil-water separators in order to protect the

environment as well as the safety of our customers.