A passerby said the odour from a fuel oil spill that contaminated a fish-bearing stream near the Langley airport could be detected from 50 feet away (Stanley Brown/special to Langley Advance Times)

Diesel spill in Langley salmon-bearing streams came from hospital generator malfunction: report

Estimated 1,400 litres was discharged into drainage system; impact said to be ‘minimal’

A malfunctioning generator at Langley Memorial Hospital that dumped 1,400 litres of diesel fuel into the Township drainage system late last month was the source of a spill that contaminated Fraser Creek near the Langley airport.

That’s according to an unsigned report to council by the Township Engineering Division that was filed on Thursday, June 4.

It said when fuel was discharged into the municipal drainage system on the morning of Friday, May 29, the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) immediately reported the spill to the BC Environmental Emergency program.

READ MORE: Fuel oil contaminates Langley salmon-bearing stream

Nucor, the FHA’s hazardous materials remediation contractor, was brought in.

“Once it was evident the diesel was leaving the hospital’s property, Engineering Division staff were called in to assist with mapping the route the spill would take within the municipal drainage system,” the report elaborated.

By the end of Friday, most of the diesel had been contained at a control point in the 21900 block of 52 Avenue.

“However, a rainfall event on the following day enabled some of the diesel to migrate downstream past the control point.”

Stanley Brown, who lives in the area, told the Langley Advance Times he noticed “a very strong” odor while he was out for a walk on Saturday, May 30, in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum at the southwest corner of Langley Airport, near the new hangers.

“I smelt it and then I looked and I saw the oil,” Brown related.

“The creek was 20 to 25 per cent covered and you could see it roiling up in the current.”

When he crossed the Nicomekl River at Fraser Hwy., Brown again encountered a strong smell of fuel and saw “lots of oil visible in the river.”

“I could smell it from 50 feet away,” Brown recalled.

After residents reported evidence of contamination near Derek Doubleday Arboretum, steps were taken to contain the spill at the Arboretum, the engineering department report said.

READ ALSO: Oil spill suspected in Langley City creek

READ ALSO: Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Staff inspections have since found “minimal residual impacts to the Fraser creek restoration site and associated wetlands,” the report outlined.

There has been no documented fish kill due to the spill, and expected salmon releases planned for the coming weeks will go ahead as planned.

Engineering estimates the cleanup will continue for the next several weeks, including using absorbent booms to prevent further spread, skimming the fuel from the water and conducting soil and water tests.

A Township of Langley Watercourse Classification map ranks Fraser Creek and the Nicomekl River as Class “A” salmon bearing streams, meaning they are inhabited year round or have the potential for a “year round fish presence upon reasonable means of access enhancements.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: wet weather a boon to Langley salmon hatchery

There have been warnings about the impact of urbanization, pollution, and spills on the salmon population, with the Langley-based Nicomekl Enhancement Society warning salmon populations in the Pacific Coast are under threat, with their numbers dwindling.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

EnvironmentLangleyPollution and Air Quality

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

LETTER: Langley couple hanging out in Bali during COVID

There are worse places to be during what one local reader calls his pineapple pandemic

LETTER: Is B.C. really doing as well as it thinks when it comes to COVID?

Stop comparing this province to the U.S., but rather look to our neighbours across the Pacific Ocean

Seniors homes in Langley preparing to re-open for visitors

On Tuesday, B.C.’s top doctor announced new visitation guidelines for long-term care facilities

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Most Read