OLYMPIA — People in white suits intended to protect them from oil spill contamination were boating around Capitol Lake on Monday, taking sediment samples from the lake, part of a cleanup effort.
The parking lot at the lake’s Marathon Park was closed.
The oil spill cleanup effort, led by the state Department of Ecology, is the result of an oil spill on the Deschutes River at Tumwater Falls. It was caused by a vandalized transformer that leaked up about 600 gallons of oil into a stormwater drain.
The spill washed oil down the river and into Capitol Lake, leaving contamination on shorelines and in lake vegetation.
The first phase of the cleanup forcused on the stormwater drainage system, which was removed along with the transformer and a block structure on Boston Street, adjacent to the former Olympia Brewery in Tumwater.
The state Department of Ecology is initiating the next phase of cleanup operations, which will include the removal of sediment from heavily affected areas in Capitol Lake.
Divers will clean up areas of the lake’s shoreline wearing protective diving equipment to remove the top layer of lake sediment by suction.