Interior Health warns public after glue, fuel spill into Shuswap Lake

By James Peters / KISS FM News
March 15, 2016 - 9:21pm Updated: March 16, 2016 - 6:14pm

KAMLOOPS — The Ministry of Environment is investigating a worrying spill into Shuswap Lake just east of Salmon Arm.

WATCH: Information from Interior Health

According to Interior Health, the spill occurred northeast of Canoe near the shoreline of Canoe Forest Products.

An IH news release says several thousand litres of run-off water containing glue and fuel products washed into the lake.

The City of Salmon Arm has stopped using their Shuswap Lake water intake and is now on an alternate source.

Interior Health advises the public to avoid any recreational use from 300 metres off the log booms at this part of the lake until the risk to the public can be assessed.

Any residents with private water sources drawing from the lake in the affected area are also advised to avoid use of the water until further notice.

Canoe Forest Products said Wednesday the spill does not amount to thousands of litres, as reported by the health authority.

“The initial problem was traced back to a plumbing leak in the mill,” operations manager Marcello Angelozzi said. “It has since been repaired. The area of discharge has been contained and will be remediated as necessary.”

He said officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Conservation Officer Service were on site Tuesday and that Canoe is working with them and the health authority to assess the risks and determine next steps.

Angelozzi said there was evidence of a water leak on March 7, with water accumulating in a pit where glue used in making plywood sheets is collected.

“While the leak was being investigated, the increased volume of water was pumped out of the glue pit to collection vats outside. It appears some of the water may have escaped and possibly entered the Shuswap Lake shoreline.”

The City of Kamloops has its primary water intake on the South Thompson River, which is downstream from the Shuswap.

Acting Utilities Manager Dennis Luison says there isn't any concern at this point.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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