Important Notice - Athabasca River - Press Release

Water test affirms safety of treated water

January 13, 2014 – lab tests ordered by Aspen Regional Water Services Commission (ARWSC) confirm drinking water in the regional water system is safe.

In December the Commission conducted water tests following a sediment plume introduced into the Athabasca River on October 31, 2013 from a holding pond breach at the Obed Mountain Coal Mine located near Hinton, Alberta.

A sample of treated water was taken from the ARWSC Water Treatment Plant located in Athabasca on December 17, 2013 and was analyzed by an independent lab in Edmonton and other labs sub-contracted by it. The water was tested for a wide variety of organic and inorganic substances that are part of regular bi-annual testing required as part of an Alberta Environment Operating Approval.

The report from the independent lab lists the names of the substances tested for, the unit they are measured in, the results found, the nominal detection limit, the guideline limit set by the Alberta government and whether they fall above or below the guideline. The lab results returned to ARWTP state that all results were below the guideline limits.

“Although all tests conducted before this indicated that all parameters met all standards, ARWSC wanted to conduct a test of its own to put the minds of our customers at ease,” said David Yurdiga, ARWSC Chair.

“We want our customers to know we are monitoring the situation and have a state-of-the-art water treatment plant to help us provide safe water to the region.”

To reduce the chance of the coal mine sediment being taken into the water treatment plant ARWSC suspended taking in raw water from the Athabasca River while the sediment plume was passing through Athabasca. Once the plume was past the water intake, and approval was obtained from Alberta Environment, the raw water intake was reopened and the plant commenced normal operations.

Aspen Regional Water Services Commission is comprised of the Town of Athabasca, Athabasca County and The Village of Boyle. The regional water line originates in Athabasca runs through Boyle, Grassland and ends in Wandering River.

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Event type: 
Event date: 
Friday, 17 January 2014 - 9:15am

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