Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) UDOT crews create berms and absorb crude oil from an oil tanker truck that crashed and spilled oil on westbound I-80 near the Lambs Canyon exit in Parley's Canyon Wednesday April 30, 2014. Some oil seeped into a storm drain before it was contained.
Parleys Canyon oil leak shouldn’t hurt Salt Lake City’s water

First Published Apr 30 2014 08:30 am • Last Updated May 01 2014 11:20 am

A truck crash in Parleys Canyon led to a large oil spill and snarled traffic Wednesday.

A box truck carrying paper supplies ran into the back of a semi truck carrying barrels of crude oil just before 6 a.m. in the westbound lanes near milepost 137, according to Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Mike Funk. He said the crash caused the trailer to tip over and spill 105 barrels of crude oil on the road.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Oil had spread about 20 feet into the headwaters of Parleys Creek, which runs beside Interstate 80, but it was congealing when it hit the cold water, Funk said. He felt confident it could be cleaned up safely.

Authorities from the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities agreed.

A dirt berm had been dug to slow the flow of water and absorbent booms were put up to soak up the waxy crude oil, which could be smelled strongly from I-80. Salt Lake City also shut water intakes to prevent any leaked oil from reaching water supplies. The city sampled streams, storm drains and reservoirs, but found no evidence of contamination, according to a news release.

"The oil is very well contained," said Jeff Niermeyer, director of the department of public utilities.

While Parleys Creek does provide 7 percent to 10 percent of Salt Lake City’s drinking water each year, Niermeyer said the spill won’t affect the city’s water supply because the oil should be able to be removed before it hits Little Dell and Mountain Dell reservoirs.

Teresa Gray, bureau manager of water quality and hazardous waste for the Salt Lake County Health Department, said about a fourth to a third of the oil in the 105 barrels made it down to the creek. She estimated the oil in one or two barrels — which each hold about 50 gallons of crude — actually spilled into the water.

The exact amount of oil in the water won’t be known until it is all removed; the cleanup is estimated to be complete on Thursday.

A private disaster cleanup company was contracted to contain and remove the oil.

story continues below
story continues below

Two men were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, according to Funk.

Delays in the area continued until the early afternoon.


Twitter: @jm_miller


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.