A Joplin city employee found the contaminants.
The fire department was called around 11 am Friday morning to 5th Street and Murphy.
Firefighters put out five oil-absorbent booms, which is like a sponge, up and down Joplin Creek.
The Department of Natural Resources was there to take water samples.
“It’s not really dangerous per se–there is quite a bit of water running through there,” explained Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer. “It will disperse quickly, although we did pick quite a lot of oil with the booms.”
The Department of Natural Resources will know early next week what the substance is and who will clean it up.
The cause of the spill is still under investigation.