Oil spill leaves family in shock
By Nicole Kelley
The morning of June 15 was not a pleasant one for Doug and Tonya Wiley.
The Bonner Springs residents awoke to a sad sight as they discovered that 150 gallons of used oil, which was dumped on the main road in the middle of the night near their home, had been washed by the rain onto their driveway.
“It was like a black lake in the middle of the driveway,” Tonya Wiley said. “My husband came in and said, ‘We have a real problem on our hands.’ We didn’t know what to do. It was a mess. We couldn’t let our dog out; we couldn’t drive through out the driveway. We had to drive through the hay fields and it was pouring rain.”
The Wileys, who live on the 15000 block of Kreider Road in Bonner Springs, one mile from the Leavenworth County line, called the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department upon discovering the mess.
Wiley said it was clear the oil had been dumped intentionally, as it looked like a truck had stopped in the road, opened a spigot and left a large circle of oil.
For the next week, the Leavenworth County Emergency Management staff and volunteer firefighters from the Sherman Township department worked to clean up the mess.
With a fresh water spring about 50 feet from the driveway where the oil eventually settled, Wiley said the crew worked even harder and faster to ensure the water remained clean. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was called to test the water that is not used for drinking, but is used for irrigation on the property.
“They worked on it all week long,” Wiley said. “Someone was here every day. We couldn’t get out of our driveway. The driveway was totally a mess.”
Wiley said the property is located between hills and the person who dumped the oil thought it was a good protected spot. In the six years the family has lived at the property, she said nothing like this had ever happened before.
She’s not optimistic, however, that the offender will be caught. She said no evidence was left and the sheriff’s department can only hope it gets a tip from someone who saw something that night.
“It was frustrating to think someone just did this and then left and then we’re left dealing with this for a week,” she said. “It consumed my life for a week.”
The clean up of the oil dump ended up costing Leavenworth County $3,402.