CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Red Mills Spring has been given a clean bill of health after an oil leak last week.
Town Administrator Tom Webb said in an email that an abutting home had a small fuel oil leak and some oil was washed into the catch basin below the overflow pipe by the heavy rain that took place at the same time.
The town officials and the Fire Department reviewed the situation and contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection, which sent a representative from the emergency response team in the Springfield office to inspect the site on Friday.
The DEP representative determined that the amount of fuel oil lost was not a hazard to the community using the spring nor to the river.
"It is safe to continue to take water from the overflow pipe," wrote Webb. "They are also working with the homeowner to rectify this situation to prevent it from happening in the future."
The popular spring, located on River Road (Route 8) just south of East Road, is a private water supply operated by the Red Mills Water District for participating homes in the area. The district set up an overflow pipe to allow people to freely and safely fill jugs from the sidewalk but if the water level is low, the pipe doesn't run.
Webb cautioned that at no time should people enter the catch basin to obtain water. The warning is also posted on the spring's well house.
"Keep in mind that debris and some road salt and sand, and anything else that washes off the roadway will also end up in that basin," wrote Webb. "Therefore water from that area would never be safe to drink."
The spring is regularly tested; town and district officials say the incident has not compromised the water quality for homeowners nor those who utilize the overflow pipe.
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