Another week, and yet another home heating oil spill has contaminated the environment in Saanich. It is the sixth known spill in the municipality in six months.
“(Responding to oil spills has) become almost full time for our drainage guy since November. That’s not traditionally the case. We typically go months without reports of actual spills of record,” said Mike Ippen, Saanich’s director of public works.
On Sunday, crews were called to the 2800-block of Adelaide Ave. after a sheen of oil was reportedly seen in a nearby ditch. Ippen says there were also reports from people who saw a similar sheen in the nearby Gorge Waterway.
“We have traced it back to a private home. We’re still looking for the source, but it looks like heating oil,” Ippen said. An older tank on the property could be leaking, but that has yet to be confirmed.
“It’s just been a trickle flow. It’s more like a slow, very small leak. There may not have been a whole litre that’s come out yet,” Ippen said.
Just a few hundred metres down the road on Adelaide Avenue, another home was the site of an oil spill in early February.
There have been two other major spills in Saanich in recent months. On Feb. 23, an estimated 630 litres of home heating oil spilled into the Colquitz River. On Nov. 25, more than 1,000 litres leaked into the Colquitz.
In the most recent incident, the homeowner has been fully co-operative with the municipality and the Ministry of Environment’s environmental emergency program, Ippen said.