Two more fuel spills leave two Saanich waterways polluted

Another oil spill – presumed to be from a leaking home heating tank – has caused yet another environmental disaster

Another oil spill – presumed to be from a leaking home heating tank – has caused yet another environmental disaster, as a large sheen was discovered Saturday on Blenkinsop Creek.

The source is believed to be an underground tank on a property on Cedar Hill Cross Road near Blenkinsop Road. The home was being demolished and it appears the homeowner had no idea there was a buried tank on the property.

“Right now we’re containing it, or trying to contain it, within the Blenkinsop Creek. We have booms and pads out,” said Ben Bowker, manager of Saanich’s storm and water water section. “We’re just trying to minimize the impact to the Swan Lake sanctuary.”

Ian Bruce, with the Peninsula Streams Society, says it’s not known how much oil spilled, but said some did make its way to Swan Lake.

For the sake of the environment and for the sake of homeowners’ wallets, oil companies should be more co-operative with the municipality to help them locate buried oil tanks, he said.

“I’m disappointed that (spills are) still happening, but I’m not surprised,” Bruce said.

Bowker, too, says these types of incidents where there is an unknown tank hiding on a property is leaving homeowners in a tough position. “They don’t end with a happy ending. We certainly feel horrible for these private homeowners that have no idea that this is in their yard,” he said.

Last week a spill was discovered on the Colquitz River, too.

Bowker says the substance was tested and deemed to be diesel fuel, possibly from a vehicle.

“We didn’t confirm it to a specific location or connection to a home,” he said of the spill, discovered in the afternoon of Dec. 5 behind Tillicum Centre. “We don’t see any more product coming out, either.”

Siphon dams and absorbent material remain at the outlet just prior to entering the creek to capture any residual diesel that may come out – particularly in the event of a heavy rainfall.

The Colquitz has been hit with at least three other spills in the last year, including two large home heating tank spills in November 2011 and February 2012, and the leakage of mineral oil from a B.C. Hydro power cable last month.

Bowker commented that his crews have never had to respond to so many oil spills in such a short amount of time.

“We haven’t seen this trend in the past,” he said, “and the hope is that it will subside soon.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Saanich ‘inside cat’ comes home two weeks later, two pounds lighter

The only one not excited about the return of Arthur, is the… Continue reading

West Shore residents hold forum to voice frustration with Goldstream Park homeless camp

Some 200 residents fill local pub pointing fingers, claiming crime on the rise, safety at risk

City stamps rezoning approval for Merridale Cidery expansion in Victoria

Owner expects doors open by fall 2019 in Dockside Green neighbourhood

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Victoria resident barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Most Read