Oil sheen discovered in Arrow Lake; City of Normandy Park takes blame


An oil sheen was discovered on Arrow Lake in Normandy Park on Thursday, June 7, and after some investigation the source of the spill was found to have come from the city.

A person with property on the lake first alerted the Washington State Department of Ecology about the spill Thursday. Ecology responded and saw a sheen along the southwest shoreline, about 100 yards by 20 feet. They took a sample and sent it to the lab, then deployed oil spill cleanup material.

“We collaborated with Normandy Park Public Works staff,” Ecology’s Larry Altose told The Normandy Park Blog. “On Thursday night he was unable to identify a source after checking the lake’s tributary storm drains.”

However, on Friday the city informed Ecology that they discovered the source of the oil – it originated from a recent spill of petroleum-based hydraulic oil at a nearby facility.

City Manager Mark Hoppen said:

“A spill of hydraulic fluid from a broken slope mower under repair at the City Shop leaked through the storm system late Thursday, in part all the way to Arrow Lake.  The city staff contacted Department of Ecology (DOE), and both DOE and the city deployed absorbent booms in Arrow Lake, as well as cleanup throughout the storm line to resolve the spill.  An on-going cleanup will be deployed until no residual debris remains in the storm line and no residual debris has any possibility of entering Arrow Lake.”

“They believed they had cleaned up the spill, and hadn’t realized some had made it to the storm drain,” Altose added. “We’ve advised the city to keep cleanup pads deployed, and replace those that fill up, until they are no longer picking up oil.”

This is a private lake with no public access, but there are several homes along it. Ecology adds that they saw no wildlife impacts, and said that some mallard ducks seen nearby showed no sign of oiling and flew away normally as responders approached.


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