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Mystery bubbles found in Northeast Ohio determined to be non-hazardous, officials say

Ohio EPA is investigating and helping with clean-up.
A massive wall of bubbles spill out from Sippo Creek into the backyard of Heather Rochelle.
A massive wall of bubbles spill out from Sippo Creek into the backyard of Heather Rochelle.(Source: Heather Rochelle)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 10:34 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The mysterious bubbles that filled homes and parks in Stark County was determined to be non-hazardous to both people and animals, according to a press release from the Jackson Township Fire Department on April 12.

Officials said a valve on a “large tote” that contained a biodegradable material found behind a local business failed, which released the contents of the container.

Rainfall from the past two days assisted in the material making its way into the local creek, the release said.

Massillon Police were called at 6:48 a.m. Tuesday morning by a person concerned and unsure what was causing the creek in Reservoir Park to overflow with bubbles.

UPDATE: According to the Jackson Township Fire Chief, cement sealer that leaked out of a container from Cassler...

Posted by Dan DeRoos Cleveland 19 on Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The first officers on the scene said it appears to be some sort of detergent, but park officials have been called to check the water.

Park officials have not yet returned our call to report their findings.

“My fiancé woke me up at 6:00 a.m. and told me I had to come out and see it,” Heather Rochelle said who had five foot high piles of bubbles in her Massillon home’s backyard. “I was surprised. It was crazy. We could literally see it growing.”

Calls also came in from Summerdale Park in Perry Township, which is downstream from Massillon, for the same problem.

“There was no odor,” Rochelle said. “My fiancé touched the bubbles and said they were thick. Not dissolving like soap suds. Not as dense I guess than soap suds would be. I was worried because it’s nothing I’ve seen before.”

Cleveland 19 has contacted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to determine if they have been called out or will be investigating.

Finally Tuesday afternoon the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admitted they are aware of the situation and are helping with the clean-up.

An emailed statement from the EPA spokesperson said, “Ohio EPA Emergency Response is on scene providing assistance to the local fire department to determine the extent of the spill, locating the source, and providing technical assistance for the clean-up. At this time, the Agency is not seeing adverse effects on Sippo Creek. Ohio EPA is in the process of identifying the substance. The responsible party is actively engaged in the clean-up.”

After a follow-up email the Ohio EPA identified Cassler Landscaping as the responsible party, but said the EPA is working on identifying the substance.

After tracking the water backwards the source of the leak was found, on land that was leased by Cassler according to Jackson Township Fire Chief Tim Berczik.

Berczik said a container of cement sealer leaked into the ground and with recent rains the runoff found its way to Sippo creek.

Working with the EPA and soil and water officials from Canton, it was determined there is no immediate danger to the public and so far little to no impact on the environment.

While the EPA is handing the investigation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources also investigated, and in a statement said, “No effected wildlife discovered.”

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