NID responds to Squirrel Creek truck crash to protect community water source

June 1, 2018

squirrel-creek-spill-5-30-18Nevada Irrigation District (NID) crews responded to a hazardous materials spill after a truck owned by a private party crashed into Squirrel Creek on Wednesday, May 30. In addition to providing emergency spill equipment, District crews followed up with cleanup and disposal efforts.

The mid-day accident occurred when a dump truck reportedly lost its brakes on Highway 20 in Penn Valley and crashed into Squirrel Creek.

An NID employee driving by the scene saw emergency response vehicles and began spill response protocol. Although the portion of the creek where the truck accident occurred was not an NID facility, water flowing through Squirrel Creek eventually comingles with part of the District’s water delivery system. Water from Squirrel Creek feeds the Meade Canal, which flows to the Smartsville area.

NID water quality experts immediately responded to address the potential for water contamination, while NID maintenance crews provided containment wattles and floating absorbent pads at multiple locations downstream of the wreck.

The absorbent pads slowed and contained the spill. As an additional precaution, NID temporarily shut down the Smartsville Water Treatment Plant and continued to test for contaminants in the system.

img_8093In total, 10 -15 pads with absorbed oil were bagged and hauled off by NID crews. In addition, the District removed oil-soaked vegetation from the immediate area to a proper disposal location. NID’s efforts were voluntary as a public service to the community.

“As good stewards of our watershed and the community’s water supply, NID is dedicated to protecting our conveyance systems from hazardous materials,” said Greg Jones, NID assistant general manager.

“At this point there is no indication that any spill is making its way down Squirrel Creek. We will continue to monitor water quality in the area. Our commitment is to our water source and protection of the watershed,” he added.

Agencies that responded included NID, California Highway Patrol and Nevada County.

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