North Vancouver creek gets contaminated by fuel twice in six months


MacKay Creek in North Vancouver is experiencing an oil spill – its second in six months – and the cost to clean it all up is rising.

Six months prior, more than 49,000 litres of oily water had to be vacuumed from a storm sewer system near the creek, which is a breeding spot for fish.

According to BC Hydro, the recent spill is the result of vandalism to a privately-owned pad mount transformer.

"Since April, several BC Hydro-owned pad mount transformers in North Vancouver have also been deliberately damaged. BC Hydro issued a public warning a few weeks ago about the dangers of this type of act, and the significant safety and environmental risks it poses," the energy company said in a statement.

CBC News reported that North Vancouver RCMP is investigating the incident.

According to North Vancouver District bylaws, storm drain systems in industrial zones are required to be outfitted with oil and grit interceptor mechanisms. Any infraction can lead to a fine of up to $10,000, depending on the severity of the contamination.

Costs to clean up the latest spill have been projected to reach tens of thousands of dollars, after crews spent four days cleaning contaminated water from the storm sewer system.