Petro spill on Lake Norman?

Discussion in 'NORTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by Pier Pressure, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    Fished Mt. Island last nite and from the steam plant to the dam I noticed a film on the water heading up river. Got to the dam and it was everywhere, smelled like kerosene or diesel. It came through the turbines, I could see it well up with the water, so I'm pretty sure it came from Norman.When they cut the wheels off at 10:30 or so it formed a dense layer on the surface and was slick like oil and water and the surface of the water looked like frosted glass. Does anyone know what caused this? Oh yeah and the fishing wasn't like normal either, one 7-8 lb. flathead between the three of us.
     
  2. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    uh
    Im not from there but i hope its not a spill. That would ruin a good spot. Did you call and ask anyone?
     

  3. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    The Catawba River Keeper might be a person to contact on this one.
     
  4. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    I contacted people at Duke Power who connected me with Cowans Ford people. They stated that part of the Dam had been damaged last week and had to be fixed. That accounted for the problem that was stated above. They felt like the damage was not major, but they would check the water again after I called. I additionally contacted the River Keepers about the problem and left them a detailed message. If I hear anything else I will post additional information.
     
  5. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,821
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Jim, Capt. Gus informed me of this situation (oil spill/possible diesel fuel) and I have informed the proper people to look into this. I am a member of the Lake Norman Marine Commission and a fellow cat fisherman. We have our monthly meeting tonight (01-08-07) and this question about the spill will be addressed to the Duke Power representive. If you or any other members observed something on the lake that will affect it, please feel free to PM me. Thanks for letting everyone know about this situation. Mac Byrum
     
  6. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Might be hard to get an unbiased answer from the Duke folks. The Riverkeeper would latch onto this like a bulldog.
     
  7. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    I E-mailed the riverkeeper on saturday, and hope to here back from them. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I wasn't sure who should be notified. That stuff came through the turbines for at least 6 hours that I saw, I just hope they didn't know it was happening. Jim
     
  8. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,821
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Jim, the petro/oil spill at Cowans Ford Dam into Mtn. Island Lake was discussed at last nights meeting of the Lake Norman Marine Com. A representive from Duke was there and Capt. Gus and myself questioned him about this situation. He said he had no personal knowledge of this problem and said he would check it out Tuesday. Capt. Gus asked him why he wouldn't check it out right now. Three newspaper reporters were there, so I'm sure this is not a dead issue. Will keep you and the board posted. Mac
     
  9. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Capt. Gus asked him why he wouldn't check it out right now. Three newspaper reporters were there, so I'm sure this is not a dead issue. Will keep you and the board posted. Mac



    Great question and with the reporters around I bet something gets done quicker.
     
  10. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    Go get 'em Gus and Mac!!! :smile2:

    Sounds like something they used on the turbines in the repair. If gas/oil floats, then it would be hard for it to make it off the surface of Norman since the water coming though the turbines comes from below the surface.

    I am sure we will get an answer from Duke with the next several years. :roll_eyes:
     
  11. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,821
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Jim, the Charlotte Observer is doing a story on the spill and they would like to take to you. If you will e-mail me your tel. no. I will call them and give it to them so they can contact you. My e-mail address is byrumjr@aol.com. Thanks
     
  12. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    This was in todays Charlotte observer:

    Duke acknowledges oil spill

    Cowans Ford transformer rupture Jan. 3 was reported to officials, but not public

    ERICA BESHEARS

    ebeshears@charlotteobserver.com

    A transformer used for hydroelectric power generation at the Cowans Ford Dam on the southern end of Lake Norman ruptured last week and spilled about 300 gallons of mineral oil, authorities said.
    The transformer ruptured around lunchtime Jan. 3, and Duke finished the cleanup last Thursday under supervision of Mecklenburg County environmental officials, Duke spokeswoman Mary Kathryn Green said. Green said the oil slick did not progress downstream farther than the island north of the N.C. 73 bridge.
    Of the 300 gallons, about 70 made it into the Catawba River, said David Caldwell, environmental supervisor for Mecklenburg County's Water Quality Program.
    Duke notified the N.C. Division of Water Quality immediately, she said.
    Public notification was not required, said Wes Bell, environmental technician for the N.C. Division of Water Quality. "Not with this amount," he said. "If it was an imminent health hazard, there would be some public notification."
    The spill came to light because local fishermen noticed a smell and sheen on the water. They discussed it on the Web site www.catfish1.com and reported it to other fishermen, including fishing guide Gus Gustafson and Lake Norman Marine Commissioner Mac Byrum. At Monday's meeting of the Lake Norman Marine Commission, Byrum and Gustafson, who writes a column for the Observer, asked a Duke representative about what the fishermen had seen.
    The representative did not have an answer, but Green confirmed the spill on Tuesday.
    No one could say for sure how rare the spill was, but Duke, state and local officials said they could not remember a similar one.
    The transformer that ruptured takes newly generated hydroelectric power and puts it on a power line, Green said. Power was not being generated at the time of the rupture, which made the spill easier to contain because water was not moving through the dam, she said.
    After the spill occurred, Duke hired a company to help with the cleanup. They used booms to absorb the oil and vacuums to suck it up -- "like a leaf blower in reverse," she said.
    Both Bell and Caldwell said they are confident no animals were harmed and that all the mineral oil was removed. The oil floats on the water instead of mixing with it, which makes for an easier cleanup, Caldwell said.
    The mineral oil in the transformer did not contain PCB, a toxic environmental contaminant that's in the oil in older transformers, he said.
    "What we thought was a bad thing when we first heard it really ended up being fairly minor," he said.
    Erica Beshears: 704-987-3670, ext. 11.
     
  13. tomcat85

    tomcat85 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    uh
    Not that im from around your area or anything but ive been following up on this post to see what happens with everything. Even though it said it didnt hurt the environment it prolly still did and jim who found the oil spill said the fishing was really down and not normal. I guess im just kinda ticked that this happened lol. We had a spill years ago in a creek that runs through town and it killed off a lot of fish it just sucks.
     
  14. Pier Pressure

    Pier Pressure New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Mt.Pleasant,NC
    Last time I smelled mineral oil it didn't smell like diesel. Perhaps there are different grades of mineral oil, that I can't say. But, they did run water through the dam for over 7 hours that I can confirm, during the spill. We were shocked that they ran water for as long as they did, kind of unusual for mountain island. But, they did acknowledge the spill right? Thanks to everyone that made an effort to get this the proper attention. Jim
     
  15. catrod

    catrod New Member

    Messages:
    157
    State:
    North Carolina
    Sounds like Duke Energy is playing this off, making it like there was no problem and there were on top of it. B.S.! I used to work for a company that when one of our power generating transformers blew Hasmat and the E.P.A. were there to monitor the cleanup and remove any and all soil contaminated at the seen. And yes they use oil in those things but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something other than mineral oil. And I think if they had a rupture of a transformer they would hit a kill switch to stop all flow of water imediately on the spot to slow progress of said oil downstream! Great job Jim I hope this is not the end of this and it gets investigated more by the proper outhorities!
     
  16. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Since the accident happened at a nuclear facility there are strict guidelines. Must be filed with the NRC, etc. I'm sure the guys at Duke would love for this to go away quickly and quietly. Just think the story was blown open here on the BOC--kudos to the power of free information.