Less than 5 gallons of oil spilled into Flat Branch Creek

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:06 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Columbia Fire Department announced Tuesday that less than five gallons of mineral oil spilled into Flat Branch Creek from an overheated transformer at the MU Power Plant on Sunday.

The oil ran into the creek from a storm drain, the Missourian reported Tuesday. The transformer contained 155 gallons of mineral oil, which is used to cool the transformer, and 50 to 70 gallons of oil spilled from the machine and all but the five gallons was collected in a sump. After the leak was reported Sunday afternoon, the Fire Department placed absorbent booms and pads at several spots along the creek to skim the oil from the surface of the water. The cleanup operation was completed Monday evening and the Fire Department left two or three booms out as a precautionary measure, said Phil Shocklee, director of campus facilities at MU.

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