Hydroplant leak at Lake Ogallala

Published: Sep. 22, 2016 at 10:59 AM CDT
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Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District crews said they have contained a small leak of hydraulic fluid at the Kingsley Hydroplant.

The leak happened late Tuesday night, engineers said a fault in the hydroplant's excitation system, which controls the generator, caused the unit to trip off-line. Officials reported the leak contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

Spokesman, Jeff Buettner, said 200 gallons of fluid escaped through a small emergency shutdown valve onto the turbine floor.

Some of the fluid entered the plant's sump system and a maximum of 75 gallons went into Lake Ogallala.

Buettner said there's a small sheen on the water near the Keystone Diversion Dam.

Booms have been in place on the surface of the lake as of Tuesday night to contain the spill. The Booms have a special absorptive material that removes the liquid from the surface.

The Nebraska Public Power District is also using measures to prevent the hydraulic fluid from moving down the Keystone Canal.

Officials don't yet know the threat to fish and wildlife, but they think it's minimal because the amount of leaked fluid is so small. But they are assessing it.

"The wildlife that we have payed attention to have shown no signs of stress, the fish, the water foul, we haven't seen any indications of that," said Buettner.

Central did report the leak to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Central Officials are investigating the cause of the mechanical failure, and are figuring out how to fix it.

The manufacture of that hydraulic fluid claims it poses no significant health or environmental hazard but officials plan to keep those booms in place as a precautionary measure.