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Mopping up diesel

Photo by Deb Gau Members of the Marshall Fire Department picked up adsorbent pads covered in spilled diesel fuel from the parking lot outside Perkins on Monday afternoon. The pads laid down in the parking lot helped pick up the spilled fuel, to keep it from running into nearby storm drains.

MARSHALL — A call about spilled diesel fuel in a Marshall parking lot ended up being a bigger job than expected, Marshall Fire Chief Quentin Brunsvold said.

Firefighters were paged to the parking lot outside Perkins around 4:30 p.m. Monday to help mop up the spill on Monday afternoon.

The diesel spill was reported by a member of the public, who noticed or smelled the fuel, Brunsvold said. The diesel was mixed in with puddles of melted snow in the parking lot, and draining into storm sewer catch basins.

Brunsvold said firefighters needed to try and keep the diesel out of the storm sewer. However, it would take additional manpower to do that, he said. Additional firefighters were paged to the parking lot, and Marshall Police helped block traffic out of the area of the parking lot affected by the spill.

Firefighters put down adsorbent pads in the parking lot to catch the fuel, especially in areas close to storm drains. Adsorbent materials work a little differently than absorbent materials. Brunsvold said the adsorbent pads would pick up the diesel fuel, without soaking up the water in the parking lot. Later, booms were used to help keep diesel from getting into the catch basins.

It might not be possible to know for sure where the diesel came from, exactly how much was spilled or how long it had been in the parking lot before it was reported, Brunsvold said. The majority of the spill appeared to be in an area right in front of the Perkins restaurant.

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