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Contaminants from Mount Polley tailings spill continue to affect Quesnel Lake – Folio

August 13 2020

A tailings spill in 2014 may still be affecting the British Columbian lake, as contaminated sediment is mixed into the water column each spring and fall.

Natural mixing of lake waters may resuspend contaminants deposited from a catastrophic mine spill six years ago, according to a new paper led by a University of Alberta scientist.

The results show that the turbidity, or cloudiness, in portions of British Columbia’s Quesnel Lake increases each spring and fall when the lake mixes from top to bottom in a natural process called turnover. The source of the turbidity appears to be the resuspension of spill-related material from the bottom of the lake, raising concerns about contaminants being reintroduced to the water column.

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