Testing shows lack of Holly oil spray in Mill Creek

Published: Friday, Sept. 21 2012 5:27 p.m. MDT

Booms are deployed to prevent oil residue from washing into sewers near Wood Haven Mobile Park in Woods Cross on Friday, August 31, 2012. On Thursday evening, August 30, 2012 a fuel oil tank overpressured, causing a break in the top cover of the tank and releasing fuel oil in the form of a spray from the tank.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

WOODS CROSS — Additional water quality tests done as the result of an oil spray at the Holly refinery have found no evidence of residue in Mill Creek from the incident.

The Utah Division of Water Quality collected water samples from the cement-lined creek in the hours after the Aug. 30 incident to determine the presence of petrochemicals in the stream and again after a September rain storm.

"We collected samples of spilled oil so that we would be able to identify if the petrochemicals in the water were from Holly oil, as opposed to other sources, such as oil from roads and parking lots," said Walt Baker, director of the Division of Water Quality. "However, because the level of contamination we measured after the first rain was so low and the number of contaminants so few, we didn't feel the need to analyze the Holly oil samples because it is unlikely that additional results would tell us anything new.”

About 212 barrels of fuel oil sprayed out of a storage tank after the lid ruptured. Although an investigation is continuing, refinery officials believe water buildup in the tank was super heated into vapor, forcing the lid to fracture.

The refinery has continued to work with residents and business owners caught in the impacted area, estimated to be about a mile long and 40 feet to 50 feet wide.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com, Twitter: amyjoi16

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