On August 3, 2005, WCMRC responded to a spill at Wabamum Lake, located 65 km west of Edmonton. Forty-three CN rail cars had derailed within 140 metres of the lake, spilling 800,000 litres of bunker C. It was one of the largest inland oil spills in Canadian history.
WCMRC conducted twice daily overflights to monitor the spill from above. Initially there were no industrial vessels on the lake so CN hired some recreational vessels to assist. WCMRC used two of these vessels as well as its own response vessel to deploy containment boom and form a sweep. They collected a substantial amount of oil this way, but also used shovels and paddles to shovel oil into drums. Harvesting of the lake’s many tall reeds was also a major part of the response.
At the peak of the four-month response operation, there were more than 60 people and 21 boats working on the water, and many more responders on land.