This release was issued under a previous government.

Although water sample tests do not indicate any health risks, municipalities are being advised not to draw water from the Athabasca River until further analysis is done.

Water samples from the Athabasca River were taken by government staff and shared with Alberta Health Services.

  • Communities were already notified of the incident on November 1 and have not been drawing water from the Athabasca River.
  • The majority of immediate downstream communities do not use the Athabasca River as a drinking water source.
  • Municipal drinking water systems are designed to filter materials out of water.
  • Residents may see a noticeable colour change on the Athabasca River as the sediment moves downstream.
  • Farmers are asked to not let livestock drink from the river until full water sampling results are known.

The sediment release is in the river downstream from the Obed Mountain Mine site. Sediment was released from an onsite water storage pond. The pond contains high levels of suspended solids, which include such things as clay, mud, shale and coal particles.

Government staff will continue to conduct water quality sampling in the river. These results will be shared with Alberta Health Services and other agencies. Further sample analysis will also determine what, if any, environmental impacts may have resulted from this release.

Related information

Sediment release (Nov 2 update)