Cooking oil spill leaves things slick

Daniel Wiggs

A river of oil flowed through Washburn, on Monday, Oct. 2, around 8:45 p.m. from the south side of the cafeteria to around the circle drive of the Living Learning Center.

An estimated 30 to 50 gallons of disposed oil overflowed its storage vat and seeped across campus, said to Darrell Dibbern, risk management and safety director at Washburn.

The cause is believed to have been either a faulty seam in the vat or the lid wasn’t properly secured. The latter of the two seems more probable, because that would allow heat to enter the vat. Heat causes oil to expand and when new oil is added it could create a reaction. Regardless of the cause a new vat has been purchased.

Topeka Fire Department, along with a hazardous materials unit, received the call to rid Washburn of its new river. They sprayed on an emulsifier that turned the oil in to a liquid that was safe to enter the sewer.

For more information, contact Dibbern at (785) 670-1779 or at [email protected]