Residents who draw their water from the North Thompson River between Avola and Vavenby are advised to be cautious and check their water for any signs of diesel fuel (sheen or fuel odour) after a semi-trailer crashed into the river one kilometre south of Avola on Monday night.
The truck’s fuel tank was punctured, releasing an estimated 800 litres of diesel fuel into the river. Cleanup efforts at the accident site began Monday night.
As a precaution, Interior Health is advising residents who draw water from the North Thompson River along a 40 km stretch downstream from the spill site to be alert for signs of fuel contamination.
Do Not Use the river water if it smells or tastes like fuel. This means no drinking, showering/bathing or brushing teeth if a fuel odour is detected. Diesel fuel can pose a health risk following ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption.
The Avola community water system draws from Avola Creek, which is not impacted by this incident.
Thomson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) officials in Vavenby, the nearest community water system downstream from the spill, were notified immediately and the water intake was closed. The water supply system operators are manually filling the reservoir and monitoring for any signs of fuel contamination.
Interior Health will continue to work with the TNRD to monitor the Vavenby water system.
Ministry of Environment is monitoring the situation and working with an environmental consultant who is collecting water samples as part of the remediation plan.