A boom soaks up a petroleum-based substance that has been located in BX Creek

A boom soaks up a petroleum-based substance that has been located in BX Creek

Source of contamination sought

The source of a petroleum spill in a Vernon creek remains a mystery.

Crews have been trying to determine how a petroleum-based substance got into part of BX Creek, also commonly known as Swan Lake Creek, Thursday.

“The city is checking catch basins to see where it came from,” said Gord Molendyk, North Okanagan Emergency Management information officer.

“Did somebody pour something into the creek or is there an old tank in the ground? We are at a bit of a loss as to where it’s from.”

Access to the creek has been challenging because portions of it are in culverts under roads and properties.

“We are talking about an area south of the Best Western Vernon Lodge — between there and where it connects with Vernon Creek at 25th Avenue,” said Molendyk.

North Okanagan Emergency Management and the Ministry of Environment received a report of the spill at 5 p.m. Thursday.

“You could smell it and then see it on the water,” said Molendyk.

A boom was placed in the creek, near 25th Avenue, to absorb possible contaminants from the substance, which has not been identified.

It’s believed the spill does not pose a risk to public health, and there appears to be minimal impact to the environment.

“It’s a minor amount and we’re not sure if it’s made its way down to Okanagan Lake,” said Molendyk.

It’s expected that crews will be working along the creek for the next few days.