The Falmouth Fire Department responded Saturday, April 17, to a fuel spill at the Coonamessett River’s Upper Bogs near 154 Hatchville Road.
Crews contained much of the fuel with absorbent booms and by controlling the water flow while calling in backup from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Falmouth Marine and Environmental Services.
Fire and rescue crews arrived at the popular public walking area at 1:25 PM after people reported a sheen on the water. Falmouth Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thrasher was on scene and said fire department personnel ascertained that a 30-gallon container that had been left near one of the water canals had been removed and in doing so, the contents spilled.
“We don’t know why it was there, or how long it had been there, but maybe someone was trying to do a good deed by removing it, and inadvertently spilled some fuel,” he said.
He estimated anywhere between 10 and 30 gallons were spilled. The department is unsure if it was diesel, gasoline or waste oil.
After seeing an oil sheen in the lower bog as well, the department found boards in the nearby pump house and used them to slow the water flow while they deployed 80 feet of boom.
The DEP arrived at 4 PM, Dep. Chief Thrasher said, and indicated it was satisfied with the containment and mitigation done on site and will come back in a few days to check on the area.
“Hopefully in the next few days the rest of the fuel will evaporate,” Dep. Chief Thrasher said.
The area remains open to the public.