A second round of testing at municipal water intakes on the North Santiam River has found no evidence of gasoline from a Dec. 15 fuel spill on Highway 22.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took samples Sunday and Monday at intakes for the Salem, Stayton, Gates and Lyons-Mehama water systems. It also took surface samples on Detroit Lake, and a sample at the U.S. Army Corps Engineers Minto Fish Collection Facility intake.
Preliminary results from all of those samples have come back clean, said Katherine Benenati, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Another round of tests is scheduled for Wednesday.
The city of Salem shut off its Geren Island water intake Saturday evening and was relying on reservoir storage and groundwater wells. That will continue until at least Wednesday, city spokeswoman Heather Dimke said.
The spill happened after a semi-tanker carrying 11,600 gallons of unleaded gasoline slid on ice near Idanha, overturned and caught fire, killing the driver, 58-year-old Ronald Edward Scurlock of Bend. Some of the fuel burned off in the fire, but an unknown amount spilled onto the road and into the river.
The crash happened about 45 miles east of Salem's water treatment plant. The city provides drinking water for about 192,000 people.
About 300 feet of the highway is contaminated on both sides, said Lou Torres, Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman. The intense fire also damaged the road.
ODOT has contracted with SMAF Construction of Prineville to remove contaminated soil and repair the road, Torres said.
The highway remains closed between milepost 55, at the east end of Idanha, and Santiam Junction, where Highway 22 and U.S. Highway 20 intersect.
Small vehicles traveling between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon should use U.S. 20, which passes through Sweet Home and follows the South Santiam River.
ODOT recommends large trucks use Highway 126 McKenzie Highway through Springfield, Highway 58 Willamette Highway, or U.S. 26 through Portland.
ODOT still does not have an estimated time when Highway 22 will reopen
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