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Water tests in the clear after Deer Creek diesel spill

Published: Friday, April 25 2014 5:03 p.m. MDT

Diesel fuel coats the surface of the water as crews try to contain it at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Diesel fuel coats the surface of the water as crews try to contain it at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The absorbent booms placed quickly on the surface of Deer Creek Reservoir apparently did their job, containing and assimilating the estimated 100 gallons of fuel that leaked as a result of tractor-trailer crash.

A truck hauling more than 700 live turkeys went out of control on U.S. 189 and plunged into the water, killing most of the birds and injuring the driver.

A resulting leak of diesel fuel from the truck prompted authorities with three water districts to take precautionary action, including shutting off the intake valve at the dam to the Salt Lake Aqueduct, which conveys water that ultimately is part of the culinary water supply for the Salt Lake Valley.

Mike DeVries, assistant general manager with the Metropolitan District of Salt Lake and Sandy, said Friday that testing shows the water "all clear" from the spill and the aqueduct should be fully operational by Saturday.

Turkeys scramble at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Turkeys scramble at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

"The tests show there are no traces of diesel or oil in the water source at Deer Creek, so basically that is our sign that we can open up the aqueduct again," he said. "There was no impact at all to our customers."

The Utah Division of Water Quality also sampled the water with an eye to potential contamination that could impair the ecological health of the reservoir. Results received Friday indicate that hydrocarbon compounds were at "non-detect" levels.

"These results are consistent with the small amount of diesel spilled into the reservoir," the agency said. "Dispersion from wind and wave action, combined with continued cleanup of any remaining sheen, should reduce levels such that it is unlikely any detectable values will remain in the next 24 to 48 hours."

Crews work at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Crews work at the scene of an accident where a semitrailer truck hauling around 720 live turkeys crashed into Deer Creek Reservoir on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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