Coal Slurry Spill Threatens Drinking Water on Athabasca River

"EDMONTON - The coal slurry drifting along the Athabasca River swept through Fort McMurray Friday en route to Lake Athabasca where whatever is left of the murky waste water will likely settle in the coming days."

"The plume of pollution that once measured 113 kilometres is becoming harder to track as the sediment suspension dissipates in the river and ice begins to cover its movement. It has travelled hundreds of kilometres downstream.

As a “secondary precautionary step,” the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo closed its water intakes from the river as the plume went by on Friday, said Darcy Dragonetti, acting director of environmental services. The municipality mainly draws its water from the Athabasca River and provides water to communities including Fort McMurray, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and Fort MacKay."

Alexandra Zabjek reports for the Edmonton Journal November 23, 2013.

Source: Edmonton Journal, 11/26/2013