A tanker full of liquid tar leaked nearly 800 gallons of the gooey stuff near Ga. Highway 81 Thursday before a deputy spotted the spill, according to a Newton County Sheriff's Office report.
Deputy Joseph Lightsey reported driving by the intersection of Salem Road and Ga. Highway 81 around 10:45 a.m. when he spotted a tractor trailer leaking a "liquid substance" on a commercial property.
The substance turned out to be tar, and about 800 gallons from the 5,500-gallon tanker came within 10 feet of the roadway before being contained, according to Newton County Fire Department Chief Mike Satterfield.
Firefighters built earthen dykes around the spill, which flowed over a gravel and dirt lot, to contain it while it cooled. Workers plan on cleaning up the solidified tar Monday.
"The good thing about that, because it is so thick, it doesn't run off very quickly. It becomes solid as it cools off," Satterfield said.
Authorities were unsure of how the leak started.
The substance did not enter any waterways and authorities could not discern any contamination, according to Satterfield, but the Environmental Protection Agency was notified. He noted that tar is a product normally spread on the ground anyway.