Saturday, October 9, 2010

Slurry Spill Update

It has now been 8 days since a transfer pipe containing pressurized coal slurry burst allowing the mixture to briefly leak into Captina Creek.  The intensive cleanup effort from American Energy Corporation continues but has scaled back considerably since last weekend.  Rains earlier in the week have helped but much more flow is needed to help dilute the slurry sediment and by spreading it further down stream. 

One of the remaining haybale dams left in the creekbed to absorb suspended solids from the water and slow the flow of water downstream.  This was located about 50 yards upstream of the SR 148 bridge at the east end of the spill zone.

A close-up view of the sediment in the creekbed below the dam from above.  Notice how the water is relatively clear but the gravel is coated with a black slime.  Over time this slime will break down and dilute especially in times of flooding, however isolated pockets will remain in the creek well into the future.  Large rocks in the creekbed that have partially sealed edges are good places for the slurry to accumulate and persist over time.

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