At a recent fuel spill, cleanup crews told KOLR10 News that fuel and oil from some crashes sinks into the ground.
It was nearly noon, getting hot, and Micah Latch had been working all morning.
"We got out at 7:00 this morning and it's been a few hours now," Latch said. "It makes for a pretty long day."
Fire chief Nelson Prewitt and several firefighters from Ebenezer, Mo. were at the scene of a crashed tanker truck. It had been carrying just a little less than 500 gallons of diesel fuel.
"It's been several years since we've had a spill this size," Prewitt said.
Firefighters helped a wrecking crew haul away the service truck that crashed there. Now they were spreading what looked like cat litter on the spilled fuel.
"It seems like you're just shoveling and shoveling," Latch said. "But you're not getting anywhere. It's a tedious task."
Nelson said a fuel spill isn't something most people would think about much. But fuel is dangerous, even underground.
"At some point you just can't figure out how to get it out of there," he said.
Diesel fuel can leak into a water source even a month after it spills. A heavy rain could even make it float up from the soil and run directly into a river.
"You just have to get there quick," Prewitt said, "and try to contain what's there before it soaks down a further distance."