Charles Reed, a water board supervisor, said the higher river water level from recent rain likely helped dilute the wine that could have been attractive to smaller organisms fish use for food. …
While it’s early in the investigation, it’s technically a code violation to release any substance into the water that could harm fish, said Eric Laughlin, spokesman for fish and wildlife agency’s office of spill and prevention response.
Due to the nature of the accident, the county water quality board already identified two permit violations, although what enforcement will be for those is not yet determined, Reed said. Results from water samples taken to measure potential fish kill are expected in a few days, he said, and a full report on the wine spill should be completed in two weeks.
Dealing with a spilled liquid such as wine (at least when it’s mixed with water) is much different than dealing with a spill of something such as oil, Laughlin said.
“With something like oil or gasoline or diesel — something that floats on the surface — it would be a worse scenario because the birds would land in the oil that’s floating on the river,” Laughlin said.
“With wine, it dilutes pretty quickly; we could see a change in pH levels or dissolved oxygen that could kill fish, but we believe heavy rains helped with the dilution.”