For the second time in less than a month, an oil spill was reported on the Mississippi River near the Celebration Belle in Moline, Illinois.
Investigators were sent to the area of 2501 River Drive just before 9 a.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015, after someone reported a possible oil spill in the water near the riverboat.
First responders reported seeing a sheen on the water that was about 10 feet wide and visible along the shore. Booms were placed as a precaution around the Moline Water Treatment Plant's river intake, according to the Moline Water Treatment Plant manager Dave Owens.
"We stepped up our sampling on our raw sample, which is our river water we're bringing in," Owens said, "So we're checking for odor, for any sheen, for anything different, and we didn't pick up anything."
Fuel oil usually stays on the surface of the water, and it would probably take a large amount of fuel to get into the intake that is about 12 feet below the surface, Owens said. An email he received from the Environmental Protection Agency said an estimated 15 to 20 gallons of oil or fuel had spilled.
A barge was also reportedly in the water at the spill location, and the exact source of the spill was not yet clear.
City responders reported a sheen on the water Friday, March 13, that stretched from the area of the Celebration Belle downstream to the slough between Arsenal Island and Moline. The Rock Island Arsenal and the Moline Fire Department said, at that time, the oil was coming from the tugboat connected to the Philadelphia Belle. As cleanup continued the next day, a spokesperson for the Arsenal Fire Department said the spill had actually come from the Celebration Belle. It was estimated that between 10 and 55 gallons of oil were spilled.
"It's really improved our community, between water supplies and the authorities, and the notification times are getting much better than what they had in the past," Owens said. "So, the silver lining out of it is we're getting better at notifiying each other and letting us know what's going on."