SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Thousands and thousands of gallons of water is spilling into the street and going right down the drain.

For days, neighbors have watched the steady stream of water near Rio Linda Boulevard and Bell Street in North Sacramento.

“Why is the water running, and it’s been running for about three or four days now,” said Carmen Ballejos, one of those neighbors.

It turns out the water is coming from nearby storage tanks owned by the City of Sacramento. They’ve been draining the two million gallon tanks for days. The tanks hold ground water.

We got answers from the city about why they were spilling water into the drain. They say they have to drain these massive tanks to clean them after oil somehow got inside.

“We discovered a problem with one of our wells where oil had entered the pump column. And we discovered the oil had been pumped into this reservoir,” said Michael Malone with the City of Sacramento.

The city shut down the tanks so oil wouldn’t enter their drinking water network. They say the oil isn’t harmful and they’ve been working with the state department of health on the best plan to clean the tanks and get them running again.

Some neighbors said if the water won’t hurt the environment, why not do something with it instead of letting it get gobbled up by a gutter?

The city says they’re seeing if the two million gallons can be salvaged, but they also want to get the tanks online fast since they’ve be relying on ground water wells more until the Sacramento River treatment plant is at full capacity.

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