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HomeNews100 Mile HouseIs Quesnel Lake Back To Normal Following The Mount Polley Breach ?...

Is Quesnel Lake Back To Normal Following The Mount Polley Breach ? Opinions Vary

Is Quesnel Lake back to where it was before the breach at Mount Polley ?

Doug Watt, who’s lived on the lake for 21 years, says not a chance…

“There is slime growing on rocks, things that didn’t happen before. The water does not seem as clear as it was. And there is still a problem with people’s water filters. And the thing is I can’t show you a scientific study that shows it’s happening but when you’re dumping thousands and thousands of cubic meters of effluent, that contains besides the metals everybody worried about, but also contains nutrients, fertilizers like phosphates and nitrates and things like that, all of this stuff is going into what they call an oligotrophic lake, which means that it’s very low productivity, high oxygen. You add any more nutrients and that has an effect on the lake.”

Watt says a lot of the water filters are plugging up in five to six weeks, something that took a year or two prior to the breach.

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Lynn Anglin, Chief Scientific Officer with Imperial Metals, says some people on the lake disagree with Watt and feel the lake is the same as it was before the breach.

She says there are many variables as there are a lot of natural contributors to the turbidity in the lake, as every creek that enters it brings with it some suspended material.

Anglin says they have monitored the lake frequently since the breach…

“And it is absolutely clear in our data when there was turbidity in that lake and we could track it. We took regular samples at Likely, it’s a water monitoring station, and had those samples analyzed. What we saw was a distinct signature of the event in the lake between about November and April or May of the next year when that very fine grained material just wouldn’t settle out and actually flowed out of the lake and downstream. We haven’t seen it since in our data even though we’ve been monitoring regularly.”

Watt also takes issue with the permit that Mount Polley has to discharge effluent into the lake.

“Our biggest thing we want now is to get that pipe out of the lake, their effluent discharge. The government should not have permitted them to discharge into the lake in the first place. That permit expires on December 31st of 2022, so our big push is to make sure that they don’t get another permit beyond that date for discharging. They have to come up with alternatives for treating their water.”

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