It took cooperative efforts to contain and recover the oil that leaked from a dredge in the Storm Lake marina. City of Storm Lake staff discovered the leak about seven yesterday morning. Ten to 20 gallons of vegetable-based hydraulic oil leaked from the dredge overnight.
Workers shut off an under-water valve to stop the leak, which occurred during routine maintenance after winter storage. The dredge is used for an on-going dredging project on Storm Lake. The oil spread out, creating a sheen on open water and along the shoreline near the docks. City staff and the Storm Lake Fire Department put out absorbent booms to contain and collect the oil. Neighboring fire departments and the Iowa Department of Transportation provided booms and absorbent pads.
The Buena Vista County Sheriff, sanitarian, and emergency management assisted, working hard to protect walleye in a fish holding station. The DNR was on site for consultation and assistance. Environmental specialist Julie Sievers says although the amount of oil was relatively small, it has a high biological oxygen demand which could kill fish and aquatic organisms. She doesn’t expect it to have a significant impact, because the oil was recovered so quickly. The DNR will continue to monitor the site.
(Reporting by Joel Hermann, KAYL, Storm Lake)