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Published: July 23, 2008 06:31 am ShareThisPrintThis
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Crews respond to chemical leak at Hamilton water plant
By Steve Landwehr
Staff writer

HAMILTON - A chemical leak inside the Hamilton water treatment plant triggered a hazmat response yesterday that brought emergency crews from around the region but did not threaten the drinking water supply or nearby residents, the fire chief said.
The cause of the leak was still under investigation yesterday afternoon.
Fire Chief Phil Stevens said the leak was confined to a chemical room inside the plant. The electric and gas supplies to the building were shut off as a safety precaution.
Stevens said employees complained of feeling tired at the plant on Sunday, and a test for the presence of carbon monoxide was performed Monday. A higher-than-normal level was detected, but when the manufacturer of the equipment used in the chemical room was informed, they indicated the readings might indicate a high level of hydrogen gas.
The Hamilton Fire Department doesn't have the equipment to test for hydrogen, Stevens said, so the District 6 hazardous materials team was called in.
The water treatment plant is located at the town's Idlewood wellfield, the primary source of water in town. While the pump in the building was inoperative after gas and electricity were cut off, Stevens said the rest of the water system provided sufficient pressure for all needs, including firefighting.
The emergency response teams were wrapping things up late yesterday afternoon, and the cause of the release was still unknown, but the situation was stabilized.
"All levels were brought down to normal," Stevens said.


A regional hazmat team responded to a chemical leak inside the Hamilton water treatment plant yesterday.
Deborah Parker / Staff photo


A regional hazmat team responded to a chemical leak inside the Hamilton water treatment plant yesterday.
Deborah Parker / Staff photo
 
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