SPOKANE -- A spill of hydraulic oil into Potholes East Canal, near Othello, was stopped and contained Friday, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.
Potholes East Canal drains out of Potholes Reservoir. The water in the canal is used to irrigate farmland in the area and drains into Soda Lake.
The Grant County Public Utility District was performing routine maintenance Friday afternoon at a canal lift station that controls the flow of water from the reservoir to the canal, when a 30-foot-long hydraulic cylinder that opens and closes the gate failed.
A Department of Ecology spill responder said the PUD placed an absorbent boom in the canal and shut down operations at the station.
The cylinder contained about 250 gallons of hydraulic oil, but it appears only about 15 gallons escaped into the canal. The oil not absorbed by the boom likely emulsified in turbid water downstream, according to DOE.
No harm to fish or wildlife occurred as a result of the spill.