Oil from leaky home tank spills into West Bay Marina

Crews in Esquimalt are keeping a close eye on a storm drain

Esquimalt crews have installed booms and absorbent pads to contain and clean up as much oil as possible in the West Bay Marina.

Esquimalt crews have installed booms and absorbent pads to contain and clean up as much oil as possible in the West Bay Marina.

Crews in Esquimalt are keeping a close eye on a storm drain after oil from a leaky home-heating tank seeped into the system and entered the West Bay Marina.

Curtis Kirkpatrick, a maintenance man at the marina, first noticed an oily substance on the water about a week ago, and started receiving complaints from residents about a nasty smell. He tracked the slick to a nearby storm drain, where he saw a “significant amount” of oil coming into the marina.

Now that the water in the marina is frozen, the oil has become stuck in the ice, causing Kirkpatrick and area residents concern for the birds and marine life.

“You can see the oil all floating around. A lot of it is contained in the ice that’s frozen in the marina so as soon as things start to melt, that oil is going to start to move,” said Kirkpatrick, noting the marina is a nursery for millions of baby fish and migrating birds. “It’s a delicate environment. It’s very unfortunate that this happened and very disappointing.”

Township crews have responded to the spill, installing booms and absorbent pads to contain and clean up as much oil as possible.

Jeff Miller, director of engineering and public works, said crews managed to track the substance to a home-heating oil tank in a residential neighbourhood. The homeowner realized they had a leak and has since put in a new tank. Crews, however, continue to work with the homeowner to ensure the leak has stopped and assess how much oil spilled onto the property.

Miller isn’t sure exactly how much oil leaked into the storm drain system, but estimates there’s at least a litre or two.

“It’s still a work in progress. The thing is we know where it’s coming from and it’s being controlled,” said Miller, noting the incident is a good reminder for home owners to check their oil tanks and make sure they’re in good shape.

“We have concern when something enters the storm system that’s not supposed to be there. Whether it’s heating oil, transmission oil, gasoline or soap suds, it’s not supposed to be there and it’s not good for the environment.”

In November 2015, kerosene spilled into the mouth of Gorge Creek at the end of Sioux Place, which took crews a few weeks to clean up. The source was traced back to the vicinity of Colville Road and Carrie Street and determined to be a one-time illegal discharge into a manhole. A notification was sent to area residents reminding them to have home heating units inspected for leaks.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Oak Bay High students Mimi Hill and Aine O’Donnell run along the Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The old track is due to be resurfaced. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay track resurfacing delayed

Oak Bay commits $50,000 towards renewed Jack Wallace track

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

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

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read