Kootenay River water ban lifted after jet fuel spill
'Do not use' order remains for Lemon Creek and Slocan River
B.C. Interior Health officials have lifted a ban on water use for the Kootenay River, more than one week after a jet fuel spill in the Slocan Valley dumped up to 35,000 litres of petrochemicals into a nearby creek.
Officials say the water above and below Brilliant Dam on the Kootenay River is now safe for both consumption and recreation.
However, officials warn the public to stay away from any containment booms collecting stray jet fuel, as the wires and chains used to keep the booms secure are a safety hazard.
The do-not-use order remains up for those who draw water from Lemon Creek and the Slocan River.
The health authority says garden vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy milk that were in contact with the fuel vapor are safe to consume, as long as they don't smell like fuel.
The order has been in place since July 26, when a tanker truck carrying fuel for fire-fighting helicopters tumbled off a logging road into Lemon Creek, spilling most of its 35,000 litres of fuel.
Clean up efforts
An ecotoxicologist from Castlegar, B.C., is the latest expert to join clean up efforts underway on Lemon Creek in the southeastern corner of the province.
Katherine Enns has been asked to help the Slocan River Streamkeepers' Association interpret and share environmental data taken from Lemon Creek and the Slocan and Kootenay rivers, following the July 26 spill.
Clean up organizers are also turning to Slocan Valley residents for help skimming the fuel from pools and eddies along the waterways.
A hiring fair will be held at a Castlegar hotel Aug. 7, with those interested asked to email a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org before the event, in order to speed up the process.