Myra Falls mine spill impact minimal

Samples were collected by the Ministry on Sept. 6 from Myra Creek and Buttle Lake

The Ministry of Environment has received the results of the testing done on the waterways impacted by the approximately 16,000 litres of “acidic substance” that spilled into Myra Creek because of a pump malfunction Sept. 5.

Samples were collected by the Ministry on Sept. 6 from Myra Creek and Buttle Lake to determine the potential impacts on aquatic life and human health.

“Based on the relatively small volume of material spilled, the short duration of the spill, and the significant dilution provided by Buttle Lake, there are no concerns for human health,” according to the Ministry’s statement. “Some parameters were elevated above aquatic life guidelines, but concentrations were similar to conditions prior to the spill.”

According to the Ministry, the water collections were made both from the surface and at specific depths at both the mouth of Myra Creek and in Buttle Lake up to 200 metres from the mouth, “to target any plume associated with the spill.”

The analysis included pH levels, conductivity, turbidity, total organic carbon, dissolved organic carbon, hardness, alkalinity, general irons, and total dissolved metals, according to the Ministry statement, and “results were compared to the BC water quality guidelines for aquatic life and drinking water, as well as to the 2013 Annual Environmental and Reclamation Report submitted by the mine as part of their operating permit requirements.”