City of Brantford reveals spill into the Grand River

The city of Brantford says it's been cleaning up a spill in the Grand River. Don Mitchell / Global News

The city of Brantford, Ont., says it’s contained a spill near the Grand River after reports of a “rainbow sheen” on a creek.

In a statement released Tuesday, the city’s environmental services department says it was tipped off in late January by the Spills Action Centre (SAC) about a spill entering the Grand River near Gilkison Street and Veterans Memorial Parkway.

The city says adsorbent oil booms were deployed to capture the unidentified material.

The substance is thought to be a hydrocarbon, according to the city, due to it’s “appearance and fuel-like odour.”

City staff believe the source of the spill was storm sewer run-off from a private property on Colborne Street.

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The owner of the property is currently working with the city, officials from the Ministry of the Environment and a private contractor to identify and clean up the source.

“On Friday (Jan. 31, 2020) ministry staff attended the site to follow up on the ongoing clean-up activities,” ministry spokesperson Gary Wheeler told Global News. “The pile of soil believed to be the source of the runoff was removed from the site.”

Wheeler went on to say the spill is not an immediate threat to the environment or the public.

The city echoed the ministry’s assessment saying the occurrence was downstream of the city’s drinking water intake, and not a risk to their drinking water supply.

The Ministry of the Environment said an inspector was onsite again Tuesday and confirmed that leakage into the river prior to containment was minimal.

“The property is currently undergoing extensive remediation for eventual redevelopment,” said Wheeler.

“The ministry has also requested that the property owner (through a qualified engineer) prepare a report outlining the timeline of events, including when the excavation was completed, soil sample information and clean-up actions.”

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