'Do not use' order still in place after diesel spill in North Thompson River - InfoNews

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'Do not use' order still in place after diesel spill in North Thompson River

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December 31, 2018 - 11:11 AM

VAVENBY - It's still too early to determine exactly when Vavenby residents can drink their water again.

Yesterday evening, Dec. 30, the Thompson Nicola Regional District and the Ministry of Forests held a public meeting to answer questions and to put together a water sampling plan. 

The Interior Health Authority has issued a 'do not use' order for users of the Vavenby community water system. Residents in the affected area should not use the river water if it smells or tastes like fuel. This means no drinking, showering or bathing or brushing teeth if a fuel odour is detected. Diesel fuel can pose a health risk following ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption.

It is also still unclear exactly how much diesel fuel was spilled into the North Thompson River. 

Early Sunday morning, Dec. 30, a MSP Transport semi-trailer, holding nearly 400 litres of diesel, crashed into the North Thompson River south of Avola. Clearwater RCMP say both occupants of the vehicle were rescued. The transport truck was hauling frozen meat when it went off the road and into the river approximately 30 km north of Vavenby on Highway 5.

"You'd be surprised how many times that happens in British Columbia,” David Karn with the Ministry of Environment says. 

Karn says the amount of fuel spilled into the river is still undetermined. His latest report from Ram Environmental, who is on site responding to the spill, says that when crews secured the truck to the shore, they found one of the two fuel tanks had lost 25 to 40 litres of fuel. The status of the other saddle tank is not known at this time.

The sampling plan efforts are continuing today, Dec. 31, as the ministry monitors the state of the river.

— This story was updated at 11:55 a.m. Dec. 31, 2018 to include new informatin from the Ministry of Environment.

— This story was corrected at 11:51 a.m. Dec. 31, 2018. An earlier version incorrectly named the responsible party.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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