Nova Scotia

Homeowner 'dumbfounded' at province's response to Fall River fuel spill

One homeowner is concerned spilled oil from a domestic tank last week may have made its way into her dug well.

Nearby resident Celeste Daly says she can smell strong fuel odour and there's an oily sheen in culvert

A resident who lives near Lake Fletcher said she found out about the oil spill two days after it happened and is worried about the effect on her well. (CBC)

A homeowner in Fall River is worried last week's spill of up to 900 litres of fuel may have impacted her dug well. 

Last Friday, Nova Scotia's Department of Environment confirmed a domestic oil tank had spilled into Lake Fletcher. It wasn't clear how many residents were affected.

Celeste Daly lives a block away and downhill from the property where the spill happened.

She can still smell a strong fuel odour around her home and she has seen an oil sheen in the culvert system. The department had warned homeowners to look out for such signs. 

"It travelled down through the creek and drainage ditch system and right onto my property," Daly said.

'Dumbfounded' at 'lackadaisical' response

Daly is surprised by how the department has handled the incident. She only found out about the spill two days after it happened from members of the cleanup crew.

"I'm dumbfounded by how lackadaisical the Department of Environment was," said Daly. "Everybody around here should have been notified. We are all on wells, and nobody was [notified]."  

Nova Scotia's Department of Environment confirmed last week that up to 900 litres of oil entered Lake Fletcher. (CBC)

According to department officials, inspectors were on the scene for a couple of hours the morning after the overnight spill. When it was determined later that Friday the oil had entered the lake, the department issued a press release to keep people informed.

Concerned homeowners are being told to contact the department's Bedford office, but officials have said assessment and remediation are the responsibility of the consultant hired for the cleanup.

Cleanup continues

For now Daly and her family are drinking bottled water and not using their well water to wash clothes or dishes.

"We've been very careful," said Daly, "I really don't want it to come through my water system, that'd be exceptionally expensive."

Crews are now working on the site where the spill took place. Daly is expecting them to start work on her property by 
Monday.  

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca