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Oil and gas mixture found by Smith Cove


July 21, 2010
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services responded Monday to a complaint of a gasoline leak in Smith Cove, reported by a concerned Gilford resident.

Environmentalist David Degler of DES picked up the initial call at 11:24 a.m. and said that the complaint was described as a gas leak on Lake Winnipesaukee, and according to the Gilford Fire Department, appeared to be a gas and oil mixture, which most likely leaked from a boat.

"It was described as a gasoline spill a couple hundred feet around," said Degler.

He said two residents on Robert's Road had noticed the sheen on the cove area, and Gilford Fire Rescue and DES were then alerted.

The DES representative, along with Gilford Fire Chief John Beland, spoke with neighbors at the scene and surrounding businesses, including Glendale Yacht Club's facility manager, who said he hadn't noticed the leak this morning.

"It was picked up that this leak appeared to have happened early this morning or late at night," said Degler. "There is not much we can do now; our absorbent materials won't pick it up."

Instead, DES will have to wait for the oily mixture to dissipate, although there will be an ongoing investigation. At this time, it does not appear that surrounding businesses such as the Yacht Club or Faye's Boatyard have anything to do with the leak.

"Identifying one boat (as the culprit) out of the amount that were there this weekend will be difficult," said Degler. "Maybe it came from a boat used or stored over the weekend."

Beland, called to the scene on Monday afternoon, said the oil and gas leak complaint is now in the hands of DES until further assistance is needed.

"This is a reoccurring thing that happens after weekends, although it is a little heavier than usual. DES is looking into what may have contributed to it," said Beland. "I'm not sure to what degree this is going to go there is definitely an oil and gas mixture on the water."

DES urges those who notice oil or gas in the water near their residence to call DES, the Fire Department and Marine Patrol immediately. DES is on call 24 hours a day. If alerted promptly, DES would have a greater chance of taking remedial action to keep the spill from entering the water, or at least to lesson the spill.

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