Residents concerned after ‘oily substance’ found in Gorge Waterway

Residents concerned after ‘oily substance’ found in Gorge Waterway
A boom is pictured near the Gorge Waterway to help contain a substance spill.

Some residents living along the Gorge Waterway say they’re concerned after an “oily substance” was found earlier this week.

On Friday, the Township of Esquimalt said the substance was detected that evening.

It said booms had been set up in the area to contain the substance, and that spill response crews had been called in.

The township added that it was working with the District of Saanich and Songhees First Nation on response and information-sharing.

However, a resident of the Songhees trailer park, who asked to remain anonymous, says residents have noticed a foul smell coming from the waterway since Wednesday.

Snowfall made the smell easy to ignore and covered much of the sheen, the resident says.

However,  some neighbours have now grown concerned about the substance and smell as the weather clears.

“The neighbours are all being choked now,” he said. “People in the neighbourhood have respiratory challenges.”

He says crews have told him they will return on Monday to help with the clean up.

In the meantime, he says the substance continues to flow.

“It’s not like a little five gallon bucket spilled into the ditch, this is a constant flow,” he said.

There’s no word yet on what the cause of the spill may be.

The township says anyone who spots a spill or thinks one is at risk of occurring should call 1-800-663-3456.

CHEK News has reached out to the Esquimalt Fire Department and Capital Regional District for further details.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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