Timeline of events for Whitesburg diesel spill Feb. 12, 2011
Sat., Feb. 12
At approximately noon on Saturday, Feb. 12, the Whitesburg drinking water plant notified the Kentucky Environmental Response Team (ERT) that several customers had called the plant to report they detected a diesel smell in their tap water. The plant investigated and identified the presence of diesel fuel in the river upriver near the fresh water intakes. The plant shut down and issued a consumer advisory around 2 p.m. ERT staff arrived and began investigating and taking water samples above the plant, in the plant and at four locations in the distribution system. The samples were sent to Frankfort state lab for analysis. Samples from these locations continued every day until the consumer advisory was lifted. Personnel with Childers Oil had placed absorbent pads in the ditch where diesel present; they had also placed booms in river directly below the point of entry and three other sites prior to the drinking water intake.
Childers Oil providing water to public by 5 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 13
Late Sunday ERT identifies source of diesel fuel at the Childers Oil Bulk Facility approximately one-half mile upstream from the drinking water plant, where Childers Oil has a 300,000-gallon above-ground storage tank and three 20,000-gallon underground storage tanks containing off-road diesel.
Mon., Feb. 14
Confirm source of leak as underground remote fill line. Sunday’s tests of finished drinking water come back as non-detect for diesel. Need two consecutive days of good results in order to lift consumer advisory.
Tues., Feb. 15
Second set of water samples results returned non-detect, consumer advisory lifted at noon. Remote fill line excavated. Line cut, drained of remaining product and removed from the excavated trench.
Wed., Feb. 16
Contaminated soil being removed and safely stored to prevent runoff. Remaining free product also removed. Other measures taken to mitigate site.
Thurs., Feb. 17
In recovery trench, piping and tank installed to collect contaminated water. Minimal free product entering trench.
Fri., Feb. 18
Monitoring of the site and sampling of the water continues. Investigation into the events leading up to the spill continue. This includes interviews with staff at the water plant as well as Childers Oil. U.S. EPA is involved in the investigation.
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