Potential contamination of drinking water after hydrochloric acid spill near border

TUPPER, B.C. – Crews continue to clean up a hydrochloric acid spill near the B.C./Alberta border but are now concerned about potential contamination of drinking supplies in the area.

Thursday a tanker truck and pup trailer ended up in the ditch with the pup trailer landing upside down.  Initial reports suggested the tanker wasn’t leaking, but further investigation discovered over 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid had leaked.

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According to B.C. Spill response, crews continued to work late into the evening Friday with vacuum trucks on both sides of the highway.  Multiple test pits were dug along a nearby creek, and preliminary testing suggests the product may have entered the creek.

Officials say it’s difficult to determine the extent of the problem due to the snowpack depth and hydrochloric acid being clear in colour.

Environmental Emergency Response Officers with the Ministry of Environment have contacted Northern Health Emergency Health Officers regarding potential drinking supplies in the area.

Work will continue Saturday at the scene.  Motorists should continue to expect delays as traffic has been reduced to single-lane traffic in the area.

 

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