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Case Study: Asphalt Emulsion Spill - Lake Remediation


Asphalt Emulsion Spill - Lake Remediation


Regina, Saskatchewan


The release of 20,000 L of asphalt emulsion impacted 1,900 meters of storm sewer and the discharge water body at Wascana Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan. Initial assessments identified asphalt impacts in sediments in the vicinity of the storm sewer outfall and along the lake shorelines. 

Remedial approaches primarily included: containment, coffer dam construction and dewatering, excavation, dredging, water treatment, soil washing, and storm sewer flushing.  

A comprehensive environmental risk assessment was also completed. This assessment evaluated the potential risks to human and ecological receptors associated with incremental impacts of the asphalt emulsion release that remained in and around Wascana Lake after the remediation program was completed.

Regulatory Context

Risk-based approach under CCME protocol (2007)

Sustainable elements/approach

A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) was developed to address the monitoring, cleanup and restoration of the natural environment to pre-release conditions. The contractor and other stakeholders including Wascana Centre Authority, the City of Regina, Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided input for the development of the RAP.  Completion of a comprehensive environmental risk assessment was completed to confirm protection of environmental health while also limiting over-extension of the remediation project and thereby reducing the environmental footprint of the project..

Value Added

The sustainable benefits of this approach include:

  • Stakeholder involvement in development of the remediation plan was key to project success and helped ensure an optimal approach that would meet stakeholder objectives. 
  • The use of risk assessment reduced the environmental footprint and costs associated with the cleanup while being adequately protective of environmental health.
  • Water from dredged sediments was removed, cleaned, tested and released (reduction in energy consumption, protection of water resources).  

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