Faulty equipment blamed for ‘airborne’ diesel leak in Saanich

Faulty equipment blamed for ‘airborne’ diesel leak in Saanich

The District of Saanich says a malfunction with a hydro excavator truck caused diesel to leak and be pumped into the air, affecting a handful of homes.

Just before 10 a.m., a Saanich Waterworks crew was completing work along Haultain Street and Dean Avenue when a malfunctioning piece of equipment caused diesel to spew into the air.

“Their hired hydro excavator truck had a malfunction with the equipment. A diesel leak developed from the hydro excavator equipment that entered the fan unit and then became airborne,” said the district in an emailed statement.

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Some of the spilled oil is shown. (Wendy MacLeod)

The operation was shut down after small diesel particles were pumped into the air and spread across three to five homes.

Booms and absorption pads were placed along the roadway and the district says no spillage entered the waterways.

“Booms were installed in the adjacent stormwater catch basins and manholes as well as at the outlets that may contain oil in the drain mains. A sweeper has been dispatched to the area and is cleaning up the roadway,” said the municipality.

‘What are they doing?’

Wendy MacLeod, who lives on Haultain Street, began to cough and smell diesel moments after the spillage.

“I thought, ‘What are they doing?’ So I got out of the hot tub and look down and there was a sheen on the patio blocks,” said MacLeod.

The homeowner says her roof, garden, and vegetable patches are now contaminated. MacLeod says only the public roads were cleaned and none of the homes were affected.

“We have to contact our insurance agent,” said MacLeod.

The district says Emergency Management BC and the contractor are involved in the response.

“Property owners have been contacted and told they should be contacting their insurance companies,” said the municipality.

Some of the spilled oil is shown. (Wendy MacLeod)

Oli HerreraOli Herrera

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