Metropolitan Utilities District is carefully watching Friday’s train derailment near Doon, Iowa impacting 14 oil tanker cars. An estimated 230-thousand gallons of crude oil spilled into the Little Rock River that eventually feeds into the Missouri River. Omaha and a number of cities rely on that water for their main supply.
Director of Communications Tracey Christensen says they received good news early today from BNSF Railroad that they have contained the oil and the Omaha metro area received the all clear.
Christensen says they have plenty of safety measures in place had this impacted our water supply. She says, “Because the Missouri River does have a lot of water, there is a lot of dilution. Oil products generally float on the top. Our intake, which right now we see about a half-million gallons flowing by a minute, is lower. They are more than 20 feet below the surface so they wouldn’t even draw in those materials. We also have treatment processes in place for that kind of thing.”
Christensen says they also have the ability to transfer Omaha’s supply from their other two facilities that draw water from the Platte River.