Diesel Fuel Cleanup In Creek Depends On Ice Thawing

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Clean-up efforts continue over the weekend after a diesel fuel spill in Shunganunga Creek on January 2.

Crews are breaking the ice on the creek around 15th and Adams to remove diesel fuel that leaked from a tanker sitting at Haag Oil Company about 100 yards away.

They say the ice is the hardest part about clean-up, although it helped keep the fuel from running further downstream.

Hazmat crews were doing what they could to vacuum up some of the fuel that spilled on top of the ice.

Geologist for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Tom Winn told 13 News Saturday they're depending on absorbent booms places in the creek to do most of the work until the ice thaws.

"It's going to try to keep it from migrating further downstream and it does absorb the material also. We can change out the booms and recover the product at the same time. We're just waiting on the elements."

The ice is 10 inches thick in some parts of the creek, and Winn said clean-up will take "a while," and hopes for more warmer winter temperatures to speed the process along.

Crews will continue to break the ice to put in more booms.

Winn said so far crews have recovered about 1,000 gallons of fuel from the creek.

The tanker in which the fuel spilled from held 2,500 gallons, but some of it was water, so Winn isn't sure exactly how many gallons leaked into the creek.

Winn also said that this leak poses no threat to human or the ecosystem's health.