SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The cleanup of Tanzanite Community Park in Natomas is moving along nearly a month after a “diesel release” caused the pond to close. 

Officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said cleanup efforts are close to being done, but there’s no estimate on a completion date. 

“Every spill is different and the product for this is diesel and it was contained in the pond, but that pond had a lot of vegetation too. It made it kind of tricky to clean,” CDFW’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response Public Information Officer Mary Fricke told FOX40 in a phone interview Tuesday. 

Access to the soccer fields reopened on Dec. 2 and as of Dec. 9, public access to the remaining areas of the park including the basketball court was restored apart from the pond, according to Fricke. 

The recent rainfall in Sacramento has helped with the cleanup and has not delayed any cleanup operations, Fricke said. The rain was helpful in releasing the sheen that was trapped along the shoreline that was caused by the diesel spill. 

A sheen is a discoloration that appears on the surface of a body of water and is caused by an oil spill that may be harmful to public health or welfare, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

“While the recent rains have been a problem for everyone else, with regard to this cleanup, it’s actually moved it along, and cleaning the area a little bit more and we’re actually able to collect what was trapped on the shoreline,” Fricke said. 

The “diesel release” has closed the pond since Nov. 15 and the OSPR has overseen cleanup operations at the park in Natomas ever since. On that date, the OSPR said the source stopped and response personnel went to the scene to monitor oiled wildlife. 

Two days later, officials said they made progress by removing the diesel spill from the park’s pond and cleanup was continuing along the shoreline, at the initial release site, and in storm drains. 

Animals recovered from the spill site

Since Nov. 15, 35 birds have been recovered from the pond alive with nine of them being recovered dead, according to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. 

The majority of the birds that were recovered were the species Canada goose at 29. Since Nov. 15, five terrestrial mammals were recovered alive while two were recovered dead. The mammals that were recovered from the pond were American beavers and Black-tailed jackrabbits. 

Fricke said 18 birds remain in care as well as five beavers. The birds are being cared for at the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Care and Education Center while the beavers are being taken care of at the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, according to Fricke.

Some Canada geese to the wild after being fully cleaned and rehabilitated by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

As for the completion date of the pond’s cleanup, it’ll depend on multiple factors including an inspection.

“Once the cleanup is completed, the city will reevaluate and determine when the pond should reopen,” Fricke said.