WATCH: Concerns over Lac St. Louis water
POINTE-CLAIRE – Environmental clean up crews were hard at work on the shores of Lac St-Louis, to tackle what appears to be a large-scale oil spill.
“I’ve never seen oil in Lac St-Louis to that extent,” said Pointe-Claire’s Mayor Morris Trudeau. “We’re doing everything possible to clean up the water to make sure our environment is okay”
The City of Pointe-Claire has launched a full investigating and a pumping truck has been on site since Monday.
Big white booms and long sponges have also been installed to try to contain the contamination.
Pointe-Claire residents contacted local authorities after spotting an oily substance on the surface in Valois Bay. Some even complained about a strong smell coming from the water.
“We came by here yesterday on the bike and I could smell the oil,” said Bill MacIntyre, Dorval resident.
Water inspectors and the city’s environment ministry were on site Tuesday to try to locate the spill and assess the damage. But for now there are few answers from city hall.
“We can’t say what it is, we have no idea where it’s coming from,” said the mayor. “There are streams leading to the lake, there are boats in the lake it could be anything. We have no idea.”
Once the oil is pumped out of the lake it will be tested and hopefully lead investigators to the source of the spill.
“There is an investigation going on now,” said the mayor. “We’re having the oil tested. We’ve had most of it removed and we are removing more today because we discovered this morning that there was more oil. It probably came from beneath the ice.”
Despite the quick clean up, many residents are worried about water quality.
“Of course for children, for the population of course, is it safe?” asked local resident Carmen Lacombe. “How did this happen and all those questions for sure. We want to know.”
And many suspect it’s something much bigger than a motor boat that’s to blame for the spill.
“Out of a motor boat is one thing, but to have it big enough for them to come and suck it out of the lake, there’s something going on,” said MacIntyre.
Pointe-Claire’s drinking water comes from Lac St-Louis, but the mayor insists there’s no danger in this case.
“Our intakes are to the west near the Pointe-Claire wharf and the water flows to the east,” said the mayor. ”If that oil got into the water system it would be treated I’m sure.”
Laboratory test results from the oil samples should be ready on Thursday.