Scientists in Montana and B.C. Ramp Up Water Quality Monitoring

Scientists in Montana and B.C. Ramp Up Water Quality Monitoring

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: Flathead Beacon
Click here to read the article: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/10/20/scientists-montana-b-c-ramp-water-quality-monitoring/

A team of researchers from Montana and British Columbia has ramped up water-quality monitoring efforts on Lake Koocanusa due to the increasing threat of upstream mining contaminants rushing into Montana’s prized watersheds from Canadian coal mines.

The group of scientists and stakeholders hail from Wildsight, Sierra Club B.C., Headwaters Montana, and the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological State, which is performing the testing. Earlier this month, the group launched the first installment of its new monthly water sampling program on the sprawling reservoir that straddles the U.S.-Canada border, where concentrations of the mining contaminant selenium has been accumulating at alarming rates.

The goal of the expanded sampling campaign is to learn more about how the watershed behaves during different seasons when concentrations of contaminants like selenium, nitrate, cadmium, and sulphate are greater due to lower flows, as opposed to when concentrations are diluted during high flows in the spring.