Oil leaks into Blenkinsop Creek near Swan Lake nature sanctuary

Saanich crews believe heavy rains pushed slow oil tank leak on Taine Place into creek through drain system

  • Oct. 29, 2014 6:00 a.m.



Saanich public works crews are working to clean up an oil tank leak that bled into Blenkinsop Creek. The roughly 300-litre spill was called into the District office at 7:30 a.m. this morning, according to a press release.

Crews placed booms in Blenkinsop Creek leading to Swan Lake to isolate the spill and used a pipe camera to trace the leak to a home on Taine Place.

Fortunately, the oil had not reached Swan Lake. See the release below for more information.

The release from the District of Saanich:he District of Saanich would like to advise the public of a fuel spill in Blenkinsop Creek, just upstream of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. A call was received from a Saanich resident and an employee of Saanich at 7:30 am today. Saanich Public Works crews were immediately dispatched to the scene and traced the fuel to a leaking home heating oil tank on Taine Place. Crews placed booms in Blenkinsop Creek leading to Swan Lake to isolate the spill. The Provincial Emergency Program was alerted and the Ministry of Environment is now involved. The oil provider is also assisting on site.

Saanich crews have excavated the drain connection at the property line and they have installed a syphon to prevent further oil from escaping into the storm water system which drains to Blenkinsop Creek. They are also cleaning the storm drain. Crews used video camera technology in the storm drain and have verified that there is only one source of leaking oil. Saanich has confirmed that, fortunately, the oil has not reached Swan Lake.

While it is early in the response to this spill, Saanich Public Works crews believe this home heating oil tank has had a slow leak for some time and the recent heavy rains have sent the oil into the home’s perimeter drain. Once this occurs, there is a direct connection between the oil and the creek. Early estimates are that approximately 300 litres of fuel has leaked, but not all of it would have reached the creek.

The homeowner is cooperating fully and has contacted both their insurance provider and a qualified company to take over the response and clean up from Saanich. The District of Saanich will continue to work with the property owner until the spill response is complete.

Residents are cautioned to keep pets out of spill areas and are encouraged to continue to report spills immediately for the health of our streams.

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