Township of Esquimalt says break in rain, wind helping with spill cleanup in Gorge Creek

Township of Esquimalt says break in rain, wind helping with spill cleanup in Gorge Creek
CHEK
The oil spill in Esquimalt's Gorge Creek is contained with booms on Jan. 24, 2020.

The Township of Esquimalt said a break in rain and wind over the weekend has helped with the cleanup of the oil spill in the Gorge Creek.

The Gorge Creek spill was first spotted on Jan. 18 and was traced back to a leaking home heating tank.

The township said that the tank has been disconnected from the system to prevent further spills.

This weekend, external contractors were brought in to assist in containing and removing hydrocarbons from the creek.

On Monday, the township said the recent bout of heavy rainfall and snowmelt added to the problem.

“When we have a significant amount of water entering our system like we just had recently, grit and pollutants from roadways and homes end up flushing out in large volumes,” Jeff Miller, Director of Engineering.

Esquimalt staff are still investigating other potential sources of hydrocarbons to ensure additional spills are not missed.

The township said staff are also being supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada by providing technical and scientific advice, including expertise and recommendations for evaluating potential impacts to migratory birds.

Residents are being asked to respect the fencing around the creek to avoid further disruption. Residents and businesses are also being reminded to avoid allowing chemicals and other materials into catch basins and drains.

Anyone spotting a spill, or notice the risk of one occurring, are asked to report it immediately by calling 1-800-663-3456.

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