Three 2,500 gallon vacuum trucks are sucking up water and oily muck from Sand Creek north of downtown Denver, trying to keep more of the pollution from reaching the South Platte River.
"The biggest thing right now is to stop the flow of the material into the South Platte," said Curtis Kimbel, an Environmental Protection Agency emergency response manager overseeing the work.
Crews contracted by Suncor Energy, which has a refinery about a mile east of the confluence of Sand Creek and the South Platte, worked through the night setting up booms to pool the oily material before it reaches the river.
Water samples were taken today, and will be taken again tomorrow, to try to identify what the material is and where it's coming from Kimbel said.
Red crime-scene tape has been draped around a suspected source area, about a quarter mile up Sand Creek from where it spills into the South Platte directly across from the Denver Metro Wastewater Treatment plant.
Contractors also are dumping a white absorbent material they call "diapers" into the creek to soak up the oily gunk.
Kimbel said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been notified. State officials would be responsible for ordering the closure of any municipal or agricultural intake pipes downstream on the South Platte.
It is unclear how long the material has been leaking into the South Platte.
Link to full article from Denver Post below:http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19431452