UPDATE: 400 L of gear oil leaks into Kootenay Lake, B.C.

Caution for recreational water users near the Balfour Ferry says Interior Health

Interior Health (IH) is cautioning people to avoid recreational use of Kootenay Lake along a 400 metre stretch of shoreline next to the Balfour Ferry terminal.

(IH News Release – Submitted to TMTV) – The Ministry of Environment (MoE) reports that about 400 litres of gear oil has leaked into the lake, which has created a sheen on the surface of the water.

Wildlife on the water swimming through the oil after a spill into Kootenay Lake from the Osprey 2000 Ferry.

IH has consulted with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and MoE, and there do not appear to be drinking water intakes in this area. However, recognizing that people may choose to visit the area over the long weekend, Interior Health has decided to issue some information.

The impacted area is about a 400 metre stretch of shoreline along the west arm of Kootenay Lake. The oil can be seen to the immediate east and west of the Balfour Ferry terminal. People should avoid swimming in the area, and should prevent their pets from swimming there as well. There is no risk to people who choose to visit the beach as long as they don’t enter the water.

Interior Health will remain in contact with the Ministry of Environment and the Regional District of Central Kootenay as containment and cleanup proceeds.

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