Diesel fuel spill in Putnam Co. river

A diesel fuel leak was discovered after emergency crews in Putnam County were called to investigate of a strange odor.

"They noticed on the bridges in town, they did smell it, and they did see a sheen or streaking in the Blanchard River," says Steve Odenweller, Director of Public Safety.

Crews were able to trace the origin of the leak back to this alfalfa mill a few miles away. They discovered they had a fuel tank that had ruptured at some point in the recent past, and they just weren't aware that they were losing diesel fuel.

The leak, which made its way from the sewer, is estimated to have spilled anywhere from 500 to 1,000 gallons of fuel into the river, and left a rainbow sheen still visible on the surface.

However, the leak was very slow, which means it cold have been leaking for some time, and the number of gallons could be more.

Luckily, the 10,000 gallon tank had not been refilled recently, which limited overall loss, and made the leakage very diluted.

Odenweller says, "It was really diluted to the point where it wasn't going to cause any real environmental impact."

A river boom has been set up to stop the leakage from flowing farther down the river, and officials say the affected area has been contained. No animals were reported to be affected.

It will take at least another week before the cleanup is complete. Officials say the alfalfa mill has been completely cooperative, and they are taking full responsibility in the clean-up efforts.