Chemical and biological monitoring of the muskeg drainage at the Alsands project site. Program evaluation and suggestions for continued monitoring

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  • Volume I of this report reviewed the available data on the aquatic resources of the Muskeg River drainage as a background to further studies on the river system. Volume II presented the results of monitoring and fish studies conducted in 1980. The present volume evaluates the 1980 monitoring program, and makes suggestions for the conduct of future monitoring studies on the Muskeg River and elsewhere in the AOSERP area. More specifically, this volume is intended to meet the following requirements of Alberta Environment that have not been addressed in preceding volumes. 1. Assess the effectiveness of the ditch and outfall designs in limiting the suspended solids load contributed to the Muskeg River. 2. Discuss possible mitigative measures, based on the findings of the present monitoring program. 3. Evaluate the usefulness and suitability of the parameters chosen for monitoring in the current program. In addition, Alberta Environment requested the following: Discuss general alternatives for future monitoring programs in the Alberta Tar Sands area. Consider: a) timing, with respect to season and specific events (floods, washouts, droughts, etc); b) integration of chemical, physical and biological approaches; c) sampling station selection; d) choice of chemical, physical and biological parameters for monitoring; e) methodology; and f) biological indicators. These and many other related topics have recently been treated at some length for Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program by Aquatic Environments Limited (McCart and Mayhood 1980).

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