Truck crash Sunday near Moose Creek temporarily shut down reservoir

On Sunday night, a tractor-trailer crashed off of Interstate 80 near the Moose Creek reservoir, leaking diesel fuel close to one of Clearfield’s sources of drinking water. The edge of the creek can be seen just a few feet below the truck. Firefighters were able to contain the leak but as a precautionary measure, the CMA shut down the reservoir for the evening to allow laboratory testing could be performed on the water. The reservoir was reopened the next day when it was determined no contamination had occurred.

A ruptured sanitary sewer main and a tractor trailer crash near the Moose Creek Reservoir kept the Clearfield Municipal Authority busy last weekend.

At Tuesday’s CMA board meeting, Manager John Williams reported that the sanitary sewer main off of Lift Station No. 1 behind CVS ruptured early Saturday morning.

It is an old sewer line and it sits on solid bedrock and they often have issues these lines because because the bedrock is uneven, creating a “teeter-totter” type of situation. Additionally, the old pipes are not as flexible as the new pipes and they break under the pressure.

He said with many of the older lines it appears that whoever installed them just dug down until they hit bedrock and put the lines directly on the bedrock without any bedding.

He said the Saturday rupture was about six feet in length. Williams said the CMA is looking at upgrading that sanitary sewer line because they have had a lot of trouble with it.

Willams said the CMA crew was able to do much of the repair work themselves, but there were some areas of the sewer line that are 18 feet underground and is too deep for the CMA’s equipment. A private contractor had to be utilized for some of the repairs.

The CMA crew worked late into Saturday night and the contractor came in early Sunday morning to finish the work, Williams said.

He said they finished the repairs about 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

And then around 9 p.m. on Sunday night there was a tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 80 and the truck ended up right at the edge of Moose Creek. The CMA has a reservoir on the creek as a source of drinking water for Clearfield.

The Montgomery Run Reservoir is the largest source of drinking water for Clearfield.

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He said the crash ruptured the truck’s fuel filter, causing it to leak diesel fuel. If the fuel tanks had ruptured, firefighters could have plugged the leaks, but since it was the fuel filter they couldn’t stop the leak.

Williams said the firefighters instead built a coffer dam using barriers to keep the fuel from entering the reservoir.

He said the firefighters did an excellent job of containing the fuel and keeping it from entering the reservoir.

“I have to give the fire department major props on the job,” Williams said. “They contained everything they could as soon as it happened and made sure 911 notified us.”

Williams said the CMA has a source water protection plan and an emergency plan to deal with situations such as this.

As a precautionary measure the CMA immediately paused water production at the reservoir and took multiple water samples and sent them off to a lab for testing. They got the lab tests back the next day showing there was no contamination and they reopened the reservoir.

Fortunately, neither of these incidents caused any service disruptions for customers. Williams said when the reservoir was shut down, the reservoir’s water storage tank was full and had more than enough water to supply customers during the time it was shut down.

When the sanitary sewer line ruptured, the CMA was able to use bypasses and storage tanks until the leak was fixed.

“Fortunately we didn’t get the rain that a lot of areas did,” Williams said.

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