This pit at BMA's Blackwater Mine filled with water after prolonged heavy rain fell throughout the region this summer.
This pit at BMA's Blackwater Mine filled with water after prolonged heavy rain fell throughout the region this summer. Daily Mercury

How mine water discharges are monitored in the Fitzroy River

SEVERAL days ago The Morning Bulletin asked the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection how any water discharges from mines are monitored.

Following is its response:

"Mines in the Fitzroy Basin are required under conditions of their Environmental Authority to monitor a rigorous set of water quality parameters when releasing mine affected water," the deputy director-general Dean Ellwood said.

"Mines are required to monitor for a range of contaminants including salinity, sulphate, pH, turbidity or suspended solids, heavy metals, sodium and petroleum hydrocarbons.

"The water-quality limits imposed on the mines are designed to protect the aquatic ecosystem, irrigation and stock watering and drinking-water quality.

"Some limits, if exceeded, require the mine to undertake an investigation that compares the results to water samples taken upstream of the mine.

"Mines are required to test mine water at the commencement of and after any release to the environment.

"If that release continues for an extended period, mines are required to monitor during the release as well.

"Most tests are required to be undertaken at the end of pipe release point where water quality must comply with the limits placed on the individual mines Environmental Authority.

More information can be found here.



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