Cleanup of spilled fuel at the Content Bridge near Nevis continued overnight and into Friday, June 10, as emergency response crews worked to limit the environmental impact.
Around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, a semi-truck hauling a trailer overturned at the bridge, falling into the creek. The truck was hauling diesel fuel. An unknown amount of that fuel spilled into the creek, which flows into the Red Deer River.
Crews built a series of berms and dams to stop the water from flowing into the Red Deer River, and now have waterway specialists on site helping to clean up.
“They have installed a series of booms in the creek between the site of the incident and the river,” Niki Thorsteinsson, director of communications with the County of Stettler, said. “They will focus on skimming product off of the river and filtering hydrocarbons from the water.”
Crews from the fuel company whose product was being transported are also on scene, and have removed the fuel from the overturned trailer.
“(They) arrived and stabilized the scene and removed the product from both fuel tankers,” Thorsteinsson reported. “Today, they have three recovery units on site focusing on recovering the tankers from the site of the incident.”
She said that goals for June 10 are to eliminate any downstream contamination. Alberta Environment and Parks is on scene taking samples and will be expediting testing to ensure the water is safe.
The Town of Stettler water treatment plant draws water from the Red Deer River, downstream from the site of the fuel spill, and has ceased taking water from the river as a precaution. The plant is now drawing from water reservoirs, which has a supply for up to 10 days.
“It is not anticipated regular water treatment will be affected for any long term duration,” Thorsteinsson said in a press release.
The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Red Deer hospital. Police continue to investigate the cause of the collision.