A pump failure led to a spillage from Cermaq's Tofino plant. Photo: Cermaq.

Pump failure blamed for spill at Cermaq plant

Cermaq Canada has said a pump failure was to blame for a spillage of several hundred litres of wastewater from its processing plant in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

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The wastewater consisted of more than 95% sea water, with an estimated blood content of less than 5%, the company said on its Facebook page.

“The spill occurred as wastewater was being offloaded from a harvest vessel into the processing plant’s wastewater management system. During this process, a secondary sump pump failed to activate, resulting in the first sump pump being inundated and overflowing. The overflow went first into a containment trough, then overflowed into the yard and the foreshore area.

“Employees immediately stopped the offloading from the harvest vessel, and took action to contain the spill using spill pads.

Both pumps replaced

Cermaq said the secondary sump pump which failed to activate was replaced immediately following the spill.

“As further precaution, the primary pump was also replaced, and an audible overflow alarm has been installed for safety. Cermaq is looking into additional capture options to eliminate the possibility of reoccurrence and will implement accordingly,” said the company.