‘Small’ petroleum spill seeps into Esquimalt’s West Bay marina

Residents reminded to use properly dispose of hazardous materials

Jeff Miller

Esquimalt officials are urging residents to use caution when storing and disposing of hazardous products, after a light petroleum substance coated the waters in Westbay Marine Village last week.

After an assessment by provincial Environment Ministry, Canadian Coast Guard and municipal staff, it was determined that the March 29 spill, which spread over a large area, was likely less than four litres of a liquid such as gasoline, diesel fuel or brake fluid.

While the petroleum fluid was not considered to pose a risk to the environment, Jeff Miller, Esquimalt director of engineering and public works, said even small spills can damage natural habitat.

“You’re introducing something that’s been manufactured or refined into an environment that’s not really set up to deal with it,” he said.

As a precautionary measure, an absorbent boom was placed around one storm sewer outfall along the west bank of the marina.

It’s not known whether the petroleum-based product was intentionally poured down a storm drain, or whether it leaked accidentally.

“We were attempting to find where the substance had come from by going back, looking through manholes and catch basins … but by that time it had come and gone already,” Miller said.

Last year, a smaller amount of contaminant seeped into water in the area.

“We get sporadic reports of petroleum products washing into West Bay,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to determine who’s doing it.”

Last week’s spill should serve as a reminder to residents that household hazardous waste can be dropped off at the Hartland Landfill recycling area at no charge, he said.

“I’m always concerned when people think they can use the storm and sanitary sewers as a way to get rid of either petroleum or other materials that should be disposed of in a proper manner. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand, when you dump it into either the storm or sanitary (sewers), it goes into our waterways.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read