‘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.”


Just Posted

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Good things come in small, strong, fast packages

Sierra Gillis hopes to represent Canada one day in fastball or rugby

New UVic study to track decline of insects in Metchosin

Traps will be set to catch and weigh flying insects

Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Paralympic dream for rider with cerebral palsy

Kim Scott’s goal is to represent Canada and won’t let anything, including cerebral palsy, get in her way

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Lower water pressure, discolouration expected Friday in Gorge-Tillicum area

McKenzie interchange work could affect water for up to a week

Mainroad crews cleaning up after winter

Motorists warned to be on the lookout for roadside workers

The most “Victoria” way to watch baseball?

HarbourCats fans can now watch games from double-decker buses

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Most Read