Ferry oil leaks into Kootenay Lake

Approximately 400 litres of gear oil has been found in the water near the Balfour ferry terminal.

The Balfour ferry terminal will likely stay where it is according to the Ministry of Transportation.

The Balfour ferry terminal will likely stay where it is according to the Ministry of Transportation.

About 400 litres of gear oil has been discovered in Kootenay Lake near the Balfour ferry terminal.

The oil, which was noticed Saturday morning, can be seen on the surface for about 400 metres along the shoreline by the terminal on the West Arm of the lake.

A statement by Interior Health advises residents, visitors and pets to stay out of the water for the time being while cleanup efforts are underway. The beach itself is not contaminated, according to the statement.

The oil leaked out of the Osprey 2000 ferry while it was docked, according to a spokesperson with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Repairs will take until April 30, but the smaller MV Balfour will continue to run daily.

The Osprey is the newer of the two ferries, having been first launched in 2000. The Balfour meanwhile is 63 years old and has been targeted for replacement by the ministry.