Mysterious substance city used on road identified

City Street Sweeper is used to help clean up substance, July 15, 2021 (Dan Gray/

At approximately 7:30 p.m. last night, a reader reached out to SaultOnline to express their concern over what appeared to be part of a load last off the back of a board of works truck on Second Line West.

After extensive investigation the materials and situation are now clear.

The substance used can be seen on Second Line West, July 15, 2021 (Reader photo)

It seems as though an oil spill or diesel fuel spill was reported to the City, early last evening. The spill ran the length of Second Line West from east of Korah Road until well beyond Goulais Avenue, then headed west to the airport.

A witness told SaultOnline that a public works truck was seen with its lights activated dropping a white substance from the back of their vehicle. The substance was reported to be causing her and her husband some eye irritation as they drove a few cars behind the vehicle in question.

The white substance in question was Quick-Dry. According to one manufacturer, it is pellets of clay that are used to absorb “oils, mixtures of soluble oils, acids, paints, inks, water and other liquids.”

Board of Works truck pulled over after dropping substance on to the roadway, July 15, 2021 ( Reader submitted)

According to the WHMIS label attached to the product it can cause eye irritation and difficulty breathing in the right conditions.

The city was then seen using a street sweeper about an hour after it was laid down to pick up the remaining product.



  1. Mysterious substance ??
    Health concerns ??

    Yes, it is much better to leave oil on the road so cars can slip and slide all over the place, and get into our water table.
    Throw clay pellets on it, sweep it up, and dispose of it properly.
    Every garage in town knows what this stuff is.

    I find it unbelievable that this is even a news story. Talk about clickbait.

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