August 12, 2014 6:45 pm

More water restrictions lifted following Mount Polley tailings pond breach

Tailings bond breach at Mount Polley Mine near Likely, BC.

VANCOUVER – Interior Health has lifted more water restrictions following testing of the waterways around the Mount Polley tailings pond breach.

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As a result of water samples from the Ministry of Environment all ‘Do Not Use’ (DNU) water restrictions have been rescinded for south of 6236 Cedar Creek Road into Quesnel Lake to within 100 metres of the visible sediment plume where Hazeltine Creek runs into Quesnel Lake. This means that water drawn from south of 6236 Cedar Creek Road on the Quesnel River and the majority of Quesnel Lake may be consumed per normal practice. It is now safe from a human health perspective for drinking water, personal use, fishing, swimming, and recreational purposes.

Interior Health wants residents in this area to know that they have no reason to believe this water was ever exposed to unsafe levels of contaminants from the mine breach and as a result, flushing and testing in individual water systems is not necessary.

However, a ‘Do Not Use’ order for drinking water, personal, and recreational use remains in effect for the impact zone directly affected by the breach, which includes Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, and on Quesnel Lake, but only the area within 100 metres of the visible sediment plume where Hazeltine Creek runs into Quesnel Lake. The public should also continue to refrain from using these waterways for recreational purposes including swimming and fishing.

Do Not Use water restrictions remain in place

For residents who remain under the DNU Order, please contact your local IH Health Protection Office at 1-888-702-7771 for more information.

A breach of the tailings pond on Mount Polley Mine on Aug. 4 sent five million cubic metres of waste into Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Polley Lake.

The Conservation Officer Service is requesting the public’s assistance in their investigation into the cause of the tailings pond breach. There are six Major Investigation Unit (MIU) investigators currently assigned to the investigation.

If the public has any information, they are asked to call the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1 877 952-7277 or online at:www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/rapp/form.htm

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