The City of Peterborough says there is no evidence fuel oil has contaminated Little Lake following an apparent fuel oil spill discovered on March 16 at the south end of Jackson Creek where it empties into Little Lake in downtown Peterborough.
“Surface water testing in Little Lake last week came back negative for petroleum hydrocarbons,” states a media release from the city issued on Monday afternoon (March 27).
The city adds that it appears the source of the contamination has stopped, as “no additional fuel is being added to the oil sheen on Jackson Creek.”
According to the media release, when the city discovered the oil sheen on March 16, it immediately took action to contain and clean up the contamination and notified the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
“The source of the contamination has not been identified,” the city states. “However, based on the limited nature of the contamination that does not appear to be continuing, one possibility is that the oil sheen is residual or remaining from the contamination last summer and fall that was caught upstream over the winter.”
The city is referring to a fuel oil spill that was discovered in the same location on Jackson Creek in August 2022. The city hired an environmental consultant to oversee emergency clean-up in the Jackson Creek outlet and help determine how the city could help ensure the contamination was not potentially coming from its property on Townsend Street.
“The city immediately undertook a geophysical survey of its property that discovered a previously unidentified buried tank,” the city says. “It removed the empty tank as part of the precautionary remediation efforts. Through last fall and winter, the city installed a permeable reactive barrier on its property to capture and remediate any potential contamination.”
The city says containment and cleanup efforts are continuing, and it is continuing to work with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to investigate and monitor the contamination.
“As the source is unknown, monitoring will continue to ensure immediate response in the case of any future contamination,” the city states.