20,000 pounds of lime were spilt on Bitner Road last night leaving some people stranded for hours as the Park City Fire District worked to clean up the mess.
A dump truck coming through the Bitner Roundabout Thursday afternoon hit a boulder that tore out the belly of the truck carrying 20,000 pounds of lime. The driver was unaware that it had happened allowing the contents to pour out along Bitner road. Park City Fire District spokeswoman Tricia Hurd Hazelrigg says the department received a call about the spill around 4:30 pm and shut down the road to make a plan.
“We consulted with Summit County Health Department we consulted with Chemtrec and discussed several possibilities how to clean up the lime,” Hurd Hazelrigg said. “Ultimately, we ended up deciding to call in Enviro Care. It takes them a little bit of time to gather their gear, gather their team etc. to get there and handle the situation appropriately. Right around 10, 10:15 pm we were able to clear those driveways and provide people access. The actual cleanup continued through the night.”
The cleanup crew finished sometime before Friday’s sunrise.
Summit County Health PIO Derrick Siddoway said that the concerns from the original spill have been lessened due to the cleanup and snow received last night. He says that when exposed to water the lime off-gasses, meaning the chemicals in the lime are released. He says right now there’s no immediate health concern.
“The main message is if you can avoid it please do so,” Siddoway continued. “If you happen to get it on your clothing or on your shoes or on your vehicle just rinse that off when possible. The same thing for residents who may have some of it on their driveway. What they can do is just rinse that out into the street trying to if possible, avoid getting it in a storm drain. The immediate health concern was because of the quantity of the lime that was in the area not so much the substance itself. That has been lessened further due to the off-gassing.”
Siddoway that the environmental impact was very minimal.
“It was on the road we could kind of contain it we were able to clean it up,” Siddoway explained. “Lime is often used to put on fields or to use in other things like that to dry out dirt. So, it’s not a substance that’s going to have a severe effect on the water quality in the area. We’re continuing to do cleanup to get rid of the rest of it to prevent any further runoff. Again the pH levels in it now are the same as soapy water so if it gets in the storm drain or it gets on your lawn or anything like that it’s not going to cause any severe problems.”
Hurd Hazelrigg thanks the public for their patience as the spill was addressed.
“Thank everybody for their patience and understanding,” Hurd Hazelrigg said. “We know that it took a lot of time and people were really frustrated. Unfortunately, that tends to be the nature of hazmat incidences. They’re very slow and calculated if you will. The biggest reason for that is we really want to keep our citizens and our environment as safe as possible. We just really want to thank everybody for understanding and working with us. We appreciate the health department, Summit County Public Works and Summit County Sheriff’s Office.”