Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks identifies spill in McKellar’s Lake Manitouwabing

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he recent spill in Lake Manitouwabing has been identified by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The agency stated that the spill has been determined to be fuel oil/furnace oil. Cleanup of the spill is being led by the Township of McKellar, its consultant and a local cleanup contractor according to Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks supervisor Chris Mahon.

“The material leaking has been identified as furnace oil,” wrote Mahon in an email to this newspaper.

“The oil was leaking from a nearby home.”

On Nov. 13, the township notified residents that a substance was discovered coming out of a culvert near Patterson Lane and Lakeshore Drive.

The leak was contained promptly by Adams Bros. Construction, according to the township.

As for any long-lasting effects the spill could have on Lake Manitouwabing, Mahon said the ministry did not anticipate any impact.

“A small sheen on the lake has dissipated,” he said. “A local environmental cleanup company deployed absorbent booms and absorbent material to contain, recover the (oil).”

Asked about the risk of any further incidents, Mahon replied that any tank has the potential to leak if not properly maintained.

“We like to remind residents that they should inspect their home heating fuel tanks on a regular basis to prevent leaks,” he said.

The Township of McKellar issued a release on Nov. 19 saying that the spill continued to be contained and that there didn’t appear to be any major concerns about water usage in Lake Manitouwabing.

“To be cautious, those along Lakeshore to the government dock are advised not to use lake water until the booms are removed,” the release states, adding that additional booms have been installed and are containing the spill to that area.

According to McKellar Mayor Peter Hopkins, there hasn’t been an incident like this in Lake Manitouwabing in his 10 years as head of council.

“We had a thing at the Ridge that looked like a spill, but it turned out to be red mud,” he said. “So, not to my knowledge.”

The leak from the tank has been stopped, but the cleanup of the culvert is still in progress.

“There’s no threat to public health,” Hopkins said.

Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,