Quenel River Research Centre undergrad research assitant Caitlin Langford collects samples from Quesnel Lake.

Quenel River Research Centre undergrad research assitant Caitlin Langford collects samples from Quesnel Lake.

Mine spill sediment researched

Soon after the Mount Polley Mine tailings impoundment breach, staff from the Quesnel River Research Centre were on the water.

Soon after the Mount Polley Mine tailings impoundment breach, staff from the Quesnel River Research Centre were on the water taking samples and have continued to throughout the year.

“The breach definitely shifted our thinking,” said Sam Albers, manager of the QRRC Tuesday. “A year out I want to pick up the stuff we collected a year ago and compare it to what we collect this year. And going forward get that year to year comparison.”

On Aug. 6, 2014, staff obtained the first samples from the sediment plume, to measure for turbidity and temperature.

Over the next few months, the centre will delve into the data that’s been collected but at this point there aren’t any conclusions.

Staff and research assistants have been taking samples for sediment and plankton in various locations from Quesnel to the junction at Quesnel Lake.

The lake’s temperature normally increases and decreases, and last year the ejection of cold water would be filled with tailings so there would be a change in colour, Albers said.

“But there’s not the same concentration of tailings now so we’re not getting that visual indication so that’s a positive,” he said. “The turbidity plume has cleared up.”

According to the Mount Polley Mine Corporation’s Post-Event Environmental Impact Assessment Report, published in June, the sediment from the breach is 10 metres deep in some cases and expands well beyond the opening of Hazeltine Creek into Quesnel Lake, Albers pointed out.

“That’s a lot of material that’s in the lake now that wasn’t in it before. We will be wondering what’s going to happen with that and what sort of conditions will that create,” he said.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of bottom sediment ingesting invertebrate recolonize the area and what sort of impact it will have for the bioavailability of all the minerals, he added.

Some time in the fall the centre will holds its annual open house, although the date has yet to be confirmed.

At the open house the centre will summarize its research to date to share with the public.

“We are also hoping to release papers regularly on our findings, but that will take some time,” Albers said.

 

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read