About six million gallons of chlorinated water spilled into East Fork Poplar Creek from a ruptured drinking water line at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and an estimated 8,500 minnow-sized fish and almost 30 salamanders were killed in the area of the incoming chlorinated water, a media advisory said.
It said the rupture in the potable water line was found Saturday. The numbers of dead fish and salamanders were determined by workers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program.
The media advisory said B&W Y-12, the management and operating contractor at Y-12, started “immediate corrective actions to isolate the ruptured pipe and to monitor aquatic causalities.
“The rupture was isolated Saturday, and monitoring on Sunday showed no more creek casualties,” the advisory said. “It also was noted that hundreds of healthy fish and other creek life were observed throughout the creek both days.”
ORNL fishery biologists estimate the mid- to long-term impact on the resident fish and salamander populations associated with this event is likely to be minimal, the advisory said.
East Fork Poplar Creek runs from Y-12 through the middle of Oak Ridge and out to west Oak Ridge near the former K-25 site, now known as East Tennessee Technology Park.