Over the summer I have been watching and logging the data provided by MPMC regarding the water treatment, flow rates and characteristics of what's discharged- please let me know by email if you would like a copy of the file.
I have discovered some discrepancies and interesting data.
1. Since 9th June 2016 MPMC has discharged 2,613,722m3 ( that the equivalent of 1045 Olympic sized swimming pools) of "treated" water, prior to this date MPMC did not report any amounts discharged.
2. The permitted discharge characteristics for this treated water was set in the Nov 2015 permit, however when I logged each week's report, the listed "permit" levels are often different.
For example, Iron, the permitted level is 0.11mg/L, in MPMC April 2016 reports the posted limit is 1.0mgs/L, then in May 2016 they post the limit as 0.11mgs/L, then in June 2016 it returns to 1.0mgs/L, then in July 2016 its 0.11mg/L. having said all that, they have just stayed within the posted limit. Its the same situation with Zinc. We have emailed Mr Bunce for clarification on the correct permitted levels.
3. During March and April 2016, we experienced increased levels of copper for approximately 5 weeks before the treatment plant was shut down. Interestingly I have noted that it took at least 3 weeks after the increased copper levels to complete testing on the dilution zone. We therefore have no real idea of what the was effect on the lake.
3. Nitrates, since January 7th 2016; the lowest the nitrate levels have dropped is 7.6mgs/L, the permit level is 9.7mgs/L. On numerous occasions MPMC has reported exceeded levels, coupled with high levels of sulphates. The sulphates have never dropped below 70% of the permitted limit. This may contribute to excessive growth of algae, very green foliage and green lake water
4. The above comments are based on test site HAD03, which is the pipe just after the water treatment plant. We have also logged the results for the dilution zone. My comment is that, it is nearly impossible to interpret the results, as the testing sites published are not consistent, i.e.. early in 2016 they tested QUL58, S, Mid and B (don't know what this means and there is no explanation in the reports). Then late June 2016 they changed the testing to include QUL58- S, AT, BT and B (don't know what this means either).
MPMC also use BC water quality guidelines as indicated in the permit, but these guidelines are very vague and difficult to understand. This leaves a very large gap of interpretation.
We now have nearly 9 months of MPMC data, which has allowed us to see trends in levels and characteristics. I will continue to monitor the reports.