WATERBURY -- The Naugatuck River is dealing with a massive spill again, this time it’s oil and not raw sewage.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the oil is no longer seeping into the river, but it took almost two days to stop it. The Somers Thin Strip company, about a quarter of a mile from the Naugatuck River, reported discovering an oil spill on Saturday afternoon.
"Further investigation revealed that we are missing about anywhere from 4,500 to 6,000 gallons of oil,” said Jeff Chandler of DEEP
The company, which makes extremely thin metal products, uses the oil to lubricate and cool its machinery. DEEP, which removed 30 to 40 yards of contaminated soil Monday, said they’re unsure how much of the oil got into the river, but the spill was caused by a valve bursting.
“The way the piping was arranged I would assume that there was condensation inside of the line so there was water in that line and as a result of that the water froze, expanded and broke the fitting,” said Chandler.
For the past couple of days, DEEP has had containment and absorption booms in the river to capture as much oil as possible, but there still was still a sheen on the water this afternoon downstream in Naugatuck, leaving some concerned about the wildlife, including ducks.
“They're floating in the river and the oil is floating through them and their feathers,” said Kevin Zak, of the Naugatuck River Revival Group.
Somers has not responded to FOX61’s request for comment about the spill, which has resulted in oil making it all the way to Long Island Sound.
Naugatuck businesses said this incident, combined with several massive sewage spills in eight months have hurt Naugatuck’s riverfront foot traffic.
“We are the one suffering, the small businesses,” said Anthony Mongillo, the owner and barber of Union City Cutz. “With all the traffic coming from the people across the bridge and from the park down the street and it’s a different story every time.”
The cleanup of the company's property could take several weeks, according to Chandler.