Local Information

WSDOT finds leak in liquid deicer tank west of Snoqualmie Pass

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 14:16

Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications, 509-577-1943

HYAK – Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews discovered a leaking deicer storage tank at 3 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13.

The storage tank held approximately 14,000 gallons of a magnesium chloride solution and approximately 9,000 gallons was absorbed into the surrounding soil and leaked into the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. When the leak was discovered, WSDOT crews were able to stop the spill and contain the remaining 5,000 gallons in the tank and containment area.

WSDOT crews immediately reported the incident to the Department of Ecology. WSDOT is also working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Emergency Management Response, and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Magnesium chloride is a non-hazardous chemical used to deice roadways that is 70 percent less corrosive than salt and is less toxic to aquatic life. Impacts to the environment, while still unknown, are considered to be minimal at this time.

The cause of the leak has been identified as a broken fitting to the tank’s shut-off valve. Crews are still investigating how the fitting broke. The tank is four years old and storage tanks for highway deicers are replaced every 15 years.

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