Trail Groundwater Remediation Plan

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  • The groundwater is not used for drinking water and studies conducted to date have found that the fish populations in the river are not affected by the groundwater and the water quality of the river meets drinking water standards.
  • The remediation plan includes interception of impacted groundwater using a series of wells. The groundwater will then be conveyed to a treatment plant for removal of contaminants prior to discharge into the Columbia River. The discharged water will meet all regulatory requirements.
  • The groundwater treatment plant is under construction, and expected to be operational in the summer of 2016. Based on the monitoring of this system, construction of additional extraction wells and an expansion of the capacity of the treatment plant may be required in 2017/18.
  • The affected groundwater consists of variable concentrations of ammonia, sulphate and some metals, and is located directly beneath Trail Operations, under the Columbia River, and a portion of East Trail. The substances are believed to have originated from historical operations and storage of materials prior to the 1980’s.
  • While the focus of the remediation plan was on the affected groundwater, additional environmental studies were carried out in three other isolated areas. These smaller, localized areas are located outside of the main groundwater area. One of these areas, Lower Stoney Creek, was identified as having impacted sediment where the creek meets the river. To address this, the affected sediment will be covered in order to isolate it from the creek, as well as to provide additional habitat improvement. Second, material related to a historical residue deposit in a localized area between Trail Operations and the riverbank has been studied. Partial remediation of the impacts below the high water mark of the river took place in 2014, with the rest of the project planned for completion in 2015. Third, the Columbia River adjacent to downtown is under assessment for potential impacts to sediment. The assessment will determine what, if any, additional work would be required.

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