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Spill sends 1,000 gallons of oil into waste treatment plant

MEDFORD — City officials are investigating a spill that sent nearly 1,000 gallons of oil into a wastewater treatment plant Tuesday afternoon.

Staff members at the Regional Water Reclamation Facility on Kirtland Road became aware of a heavy petroleum-based oil that entered the plant just after noon. The flow continued to enter the sewage plant until about 6 p.m., according to city officials.

Workers were able to divert the contaminated flow, officials said. None of the oil continued through the treatment process and there was no loss of water quality in the effluent as a result of the spill, officials said.

Medford employees with the assistance of Rogue Valley Sewer Services workers are trying to determine the source of the oil spill. Preliminary reports suggest it might have originated in the general Central Point, west Medford or Jacksonville area.

Samples of the pollutant were sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine exactly what it is, officials said.

If investigators are able to determine the source, the guilty party could cover the cost of cleanup and might be hit with additional fines, officials said.