Fuel spill at Esquimalt marina traced to home-heating oil tank
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11:50AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 10, 2017 11:55AM PST
City crews in Esquimalt have traced a fuel spill that showed up in the water at the West Bay Marina a week ago to a home-heating tank.
A maintenance manager at the marina reported the spill after an oily sheen showed up in the water.
He says he’s been plucking dead fish from the water ever since.
“It’s very concerning because it is a migratory bird area as well as a nursery for millions of baby fish,” Curtis Kirkpatrick said.
According to Esquimalt Public Works, the spill has been traced back to a nearby home-heating oil tank that was leaking into the storm system.
“They’ve replaced the tank and we’ve intercepted the drain pipe, so if there is any more on the land it’s not going to intercept into the storm main,” Jeff Miller with Esquimalt Public Works said. “Then we’ll work through it with them to ensure that there is no more on the soil.”
The polluter typically pays for cleanup costs, but the public works department says it’s still working with the homeowner and hasn’t determined any penalties at this time.
“We’ve asked them to get an environmental report from a consultant to let us know how bad the contamination was and whether or not it’s been cleaned up,” Miller said.
The fuel was initially frozen on the ice, but after it thawed it made it more difficult to deal with.
“The oil sticks to the rocks and then when the tide comes back in the oil intermingles with the water, so it’s not always floating on the surface,” Kirkpatrick said.
Crews are still trying to pinpoint exactly how much oil has spilled into the marina.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Yvonne Raymond