Garland Co. Officials Issue News Release on Substance Found in Lake Hamilton

Officials say they do not believe it was oil
Garland County Judge Rick Davis has issued the following news release regarding the discovery of a mysterious substance initially believed to be oil in Lake Hamilton:

"At approximately 10:30 this morning, the Garland County Department of Emergency Management was notified by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management that they had received a report through the National Response Center that a resident on Lake Hamilton, in the Joy Drive/Silverwood Terrace area, reported there was a possible oil spill with a visible 'sheen' on the water. Garland County Department of Emergency staff responded to the scene, along with Garland County Department of Environmental Services Environmental Inspector. With the assistance of Garland County Marine Patrol, there was a search done of the area by land and water. Evidence of an unknown substance was discovered in a small, isolated area and a sample was obtained for evaluation and is being forwarded to the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for testing. Inspectors believed this was not an oil/petroleum based substance. After searching farther upstream and not finding any additional substance, they returned to the area of initial report to find that the previous area was clear and were unable to find any evidence of the substance. It was also reported that during inspection there was no apparent harm to aquatic life in the area of the substance found. Residents in the area have been advised to call the Garland County Department of Environmental Services to report any additional sightings. During inspection of the area there was no apparent harm to aquatic life in the area of the substance found."


Officials with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality are now saying they do not believe the substance found in Lake Hamilton is oil.

After returning to the lake after sending samples away for tests, much of the substance had dissipated, and there is no cause for health concerns.

Original Story:
HOT SPRINGS, AR -- According to the Hot Springs website, an oil spill in Lake Hamilton will not affect the city's drinking water.

The City of Hot Springs posted the following news release on their website Wednesday afternoon:

Hot Springs Municipal Utilities' potable water system will not be adversely affected by today's confirmed oil spill in Lake Hamilton, according to Utilities Director Richard Penn.

"The oil spill is located about 6 miles below the city's water intake," said Penn. "Our water system customers will be unaffected."

At 11:08 this morning, the Arkansas Health Department received a report from a Lake Hamilton property owner of a one-mile-long, 20-feet-wide oil spill in front of her property, which is located in a cove of the lake. Emergency responders are on the scene. The origin and chemical composition of the spill is unknown at this time.

Stick with for more information as it becomes available.
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