Oil spill slicks Walnut Grove street

A long slick of hydraulic oil was left behind when a Langley Township streetsweeper suffered a burst hose last week.

The spill apparently happened around Saturday, Dec. 13 in the 21400 block of Telegraph Trail.

“Unfortunately, there was a spill of fluid by our sweeper,” said Roeland Zwaag, the Township’s director of public works.

Walnut Grove resident Larri Woodrow spotted the oil on Saturday, when the oil had already been covered with absorbent material to soak it up.

He said the slick was about two blocks long and was out to both sides of the street.

Woodrow contacted the Township on Monday after he noticed the absorbent sawdust-like material was still on the streets.

He said he was worried the whole mess would wind up going down the storm drains if a heavy rain began. The drains in that area lead into local creeks like Yorkson and Munday Creeks.

He also noticed that with it out so long, it seemed to be getting picked up by passing cars, and tracked out of the neighbourhood or into area garages.

“When something like this happens, where are they on the weekend?” said Woodrow.

Zwaag said there were a couple of complications in the normal cleanup process.

“Our backup plan was to bring in the other sweeper,” said Zwaag.

Unfortunately, one of the sweepers had been put out of action by the broken hose that caused the spill in the first place, and the other was also in the shop.

The other reason for the delay was that when one sweeper did get up and running, it was being used to clean up windstorm debris after the weekend.

The cleanup took place around Tuesday.

Zwaag said the Township will have to look into adjusting its cleanup process in the future.

It is possible they could look at renting a sweeper or contracting out if Township resources aren’t sufficient, he said.

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