Fuel spills near Norton Reservoir

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Courtesy of Penney Engineering, Inc

Fire and state officials are investigating the possible environmental impact of a kerosene spill near the Norton Reservoir that leaked an estimated 250 gallons of the heating fuel into the snow and ground on Saturday afternoon.

Fire Capt. Kent Campbell said he was called to investigate a spill at an outside storage tank at a mobile home park on Mansfield Avenue (Route 140), when a homeowner realized that an exterior 275-gallon kerosene tank that had been filled a week ago was empty.

Campbell said he dug a couple of exploration pits to determine how far the kerosene had traveled in the snow, ice and underlying dirt and was trying to see if any of the fuel had made it to the Norton Reservoir about 20 feet away.

He said he found kerosene about 3 feet from the mobile home, but didn't find any 6 feet away. He also said it's difficult to determine if any had made it to the water, because the reservoir is covered with snow and ice.

The state Department of Environmental Protection was sending an environmental agent to inspect the spill Saturday night. Campbell said he also contacted the town's conservation agent. He said once the spill is reviewed by the state, the homeowner is usually asked to clean up the spill by hiring a licensed site professional who will replace any contaminated soil with clean soil.

The scope of any cleanup won't be known until crews start digging up the ground, he said.

A recirculating, biologic groundwater treatment system shall be installed to enhance the biological degradation of the residual heating oil in the soil and groundwater. The system shall include an interceptor trench with an aerator pump, a submersible pump and an oil scavenger. The aerated groundwater from the trench shall be injected within the area of the spill. Remedial additives shall be injected as needed. The system is anticipated to successfully remediate the heating oil spill in six to twelve months.

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