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OKLAHOMA CITY – Cars damaged at a city wastewater facility have taxpayers footing a bill that exceeds a quarter-million dollars over the past couple of years.

According to information obtained by NewsChannel 4, Oklahoma City has paid more than 60 claims since 2015 to people whose vehicles were damaged by a chemical compound escaping a silo at the Overholser Water Treatment Plant. The repairs total more than $330,000.

On Tuesday, the city council approved another 16 claims, totaling more than $90,000.

“It seems as if there were some issues with the silo that we have since welded shut and the lime dust was simply being blown away from the storage area where we held the lime,” said spokeswoman Jennifer McClintock. “There has been some corrosion to the paint on their cars.”

Lime is a chemical compound used to make water softer and clearer.

“Most likely what’s happening here is, as the water is hitting the calcium hydroxide, it’s going to spread it out,” said Oklahoma City University chemistry professor Stephen Prilliman. “As the water evaporates, you’re going to get a real hard layer of calcium hydroxide on the top of the paint or whatever material.”

“That’s going to be really hard, it’s going to be really adhesive and it’s going to be really hard to get off,” he said. “It’s not just going to come off with a car wash.”

Multiple Oklahoma City sites use lime, but McClintock said only the Overholser plant has experienced problems.

She could not immediately tell NewsChannel 4 when the silo was repaired nor did she know why things hadn’t been remedied earlier.

Tuesday’s payouts reference a Jan. 11 incident.

There are plans to move the parking lot to another location but construction does not begin until 2018, McClintock said.

No members of the public have complained about damage from lime, McClintock said.