MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The beach at Lake Secor has been closed indefinitely after heating oil from a failed tank in a nearby residence leaked into the lake.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said that on Tuesday, June 13, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a heating oil tank in a homeowner’s basement failed and the oil entered a sump pump and was then pumped to the storm drain and ultimately discharged into Lake Secor.
The DEC and Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) were on site and a clean-up team was dispatched to address the spill. The clean-up will be an ongoing effort.
Rich Franzetti, the Carmel town engineer, said residents in the neighborhood don't have to worry about their drinking water. Carmel Water District 3 (CWD 3), where Lake Secor is located, is supplied from groundwater wells and not directly from the lake. However, as a precaution, the PCDOH will collect water samples at Spring Street pump station and monitor the situation. In addition, the PCDOH will collect samples around the Lake Secor Beach.
The Lake Secor Beach Park Advisory Committee voluntarily closed the Lake Secor beach until further notice.
"It was be closed temporarily," Franzetti said. "[The length of the closure] will be driven by samples. They took a sample today."
Franzetti said an oil sheen is visible on parts of the lake and the clean-up team is placing an oil boom in the water in an effort to contain the spread of the oil and keep it from impacting the beach.
"The lake is actively being cleaned," he said. "They have to clean the house [where the incident happened] and where the storm water enters the lake. There will still be more oil entering the system. They will do whatever they have to do."
Franzetti said the accident was unusual.
"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances for this to have happened," he said.