A recent oil spill in the Colquitz River has been traced to a leaking barrel outside a residence on Sims Avenue.
On the morning of May 1, the District of Saanich received reports that oil had been spotted on the river around the fish fence in Cuthbert Holmes Park.
Saanich crews quickly installed absorbent booms in the water before investigating the source of the spill, Saanich spokesperson Kelsie McLeod explained at the time. By mid-morning, the search had taken crews into the Sims and Regina Avenues neighbourhood.
Municipal staff eventually traced the source of the spill to a home in the 100-block of Sims Avenue, McLeod said.
“The contaminant was coming from a barrel on the property,” she explained, adding that the Ministry of Environment has since taken the lead and will speak to the property owner about how to proceed.
The May 1 oil spill was the second in the same river in a little over a week, said Colquitz River advocate, Dorothy Chambers. On April 22, she spotted oil near Portage Inlet and quickly reported it.
Chambers added that in both incidents, Saanich crews were quick to respond – which she’s grateful for as oil spills can be deadly for the wildlife who call the Colquitz River home.
To report an oil spill or contamination, Chambers recommends calling Emergency Management British Columbia at 1-800-663-3456 and asking for a Dangerous Goods Incident Report file number in case there’s a need to call back. Reports can also be made to Report All Polluters and Poachers at 1-877-952-7277.