Saanich crews cleaning up hydrocarbon spill in Swan Lake marsh area

Saanich crews cleaning up hydrocarbon spill in Swan Lake marsh area
Photo: Swan Lake/District of Saanich
Swan Lake is seen in this file photo.

Saanich crews are working to clean up a hydrocarbon spill in the Swan Lake marsh after oil leaked from a home close to the popular nature sanctuary.

The District of Saanich, in a statement to CHEK News Tuesday, says crews were made aware of the spill in the marsh area Monday morning.

Upon further investigation, they were able to trace the contamination to a leaking oil furnace at a property in the 3800-block of Swan Lake Road.

Now they’re working to remove the oil from the marsh.

“A siphon dam has been installed at the property, and containment booms have been placed in the marsh area,” the district said in the statement.

It says it will take crews “a while” to clean up the spill as there “is a substantial amount of product in the marsh area and some product in Swan Lake.”

The property owner is aware of the leak.

“The owner has been notified and will be working with their insurance to get resources to support in the clean-up efforts. We’ve also been in contact with the Province (PEP) and Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary Society,” the district added.

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary measures more than 170 acres and is visited by roughly 70,000 people each year, according to

It’s “an accessible green space in an urban landscape and includes two distinct ecosystems, a wetland around Swan Lake and a rocky, Garry oak forest on top of Christmas Hill,” states the website.

Earlier this month, Saanich crews removed oil that had spilled into an open ditch along Courtland Avenue, preventing it from flowing into nearby Durrell Creek.

The district has information about reporting pollution spills online here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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