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Owner of sewage-spill truck investigates how it overturned

May 04 2012

The sewage company that owns the truck that overturned on the Trans-Canada Highway, spilling raw sewage and shutting down the highway for four hours, is investigating how the accident occurred.

Dan Lazaro, general manager for Coast Environmental, said the company planned to talk to the driver, who was released from hospital with only bruises and cuts, on Thursday.

Initial police reports said the driver moved into the left lane but crossed the yellow line, causing him to overcorrect. That sent the tanker truck rolling across the highway, somehow missing cars in the other lanes, before it ended up on its side against a concrete barrier.

About 1,500 litres of raw sewage spilled out of the tank onto the roadway, much less than the 10,000 litres originally reported by the Ministry of Environment on Wednesday.

The sewage was contained to the road and collected in a lowlying asphalt area, which the company vacuumed up, Lazaro said.

"Once we determined everyone was OK, as soon as the vehicle was cleared, we came up with a cleanup plan and - it went off very well," he said.

It did not seep into the Craigflower Creek, which is one kilometre away, or Thetis Lake, which is half a kilometre away uphill.

The septic tank was carrying 5,000 litres of sewage but the tank didn't completely rupture, Lazaro said. Putty was placed over a small crack to reduce the amount of waste that spilled onto the highway.

The Environment Ministry said Coast Environmental could have to cover the bill for the resources that were used to respond to the spill.

Lazaro said the driver has been with the company for five years.

The driver was also expected to talk to West Shore RCMP Thursday.

Police have not yet said whether they are considering charges under the Motor Vehicle Act against the driver.

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