Recreational water advisory issued as precaution after kerosene leak in Clayton

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Crews continue clean-up after 2,000 gallons of kerosene leak from T.R. Lee Oil Company, into Little Creek area in Clayton.

A precautionary recreational water advisory has been issued for a portion of Little Creek between Main Street to Lombard Street/NC-42 W after it was revealed over the weekend that 2,000 gallons of kerosene leaked from a business.

The advisory is being issued out of caution after kerosene was accidentally released from T.R. Lee Oil Company, Inc. over the weekend during the peak impact of Hurricane Ian, Clayton officials said.

The Town of Clayton, in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), Division of Public Health, issued the advisory saying, it is a recreational advisory only.

Officials said Little Creek is not a drinking water source for Clayton and the town's drinking water remains safe.

Since the spill was discovered, we have been collaborating with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), North Caroling Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ), North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS), Johnston County Emergency Management, T.R. Lee Oil Company, Inc. and their contractor (HEPACO) to resolve the situation.

Until the water at Little Creek is tested and declared safe for recreation, environmental and public health officials recommend:

Avoid swimming, wading, or fishing in this section of Little Creek until further notice.

Avoid skin contact with water, soil and sediment in or near the river.

If skin comes in contact with contaminated sediment or water, thoroughly wash the affected area with soap and water.

If you are concerned that you, your family and any pets have been exposed to these waterways, contact your health care provider or veterinarian.

The clean-up is an ongoing effort and town officials said it may take several more days to complete. The recreational advisory will be lifted once NC DEQ and NCDHHS have completed their testing and recommend the removal of the advisory, Clayton leaders said.

You can read the town's full advisory here.