Deloro Site Monitoring

August 10th, 2001

By Janet and Doug Fletcher

Due to the long heat wave we have been experiencing and lowered water levels in our lakes and rivers, we decided to revisit the Moira River/Deloro area to check up on the situation and take some samples. When water levels are low, contaminants such as arsenic and cobalt can become more concentrated and therefore more toxic because the amount of dilution is reduced.

Left home around 8 am and drove up to the Moira River where it crosses Highway 7 between Madoc and Marmora, north of Belleville. We arrived around 9:30 am and parked our truck on the north shoulder of the road. After looking around for a spot to sample, we decided to go under the south side of the bridge.

Photo #1 It was a nice, bright day; sunny with a few clouds, air temperature 29C, low humidity for a change, and a light breeze was blowing. We proceeded down the slope to the river edge. Some purple loosestrife was evident along the shore. (photo #1) We noticed that some silt fencing along the shoreline installed by the Ministry of Environment has collapsed. Sediments along the shore which may be contaminated could wash into the river as a result. We collected a water sample from the river.
Next we decided to go into the Village of Deloro a few kilometers east and north of the Moira, to try and obtain a soil sample. The illage is small, but very pretty and peaceful. Photo #2
Arsenic dust from the Deloro Mine is a problem in the village, especially during the summer months. On the main street (Deloro Road), we spotted a clump of soil at curbside and collected a sample (photos #2 & #3). Photo #3
Photo #4 After leaving the village, we drove to Youngs Creek which crosses Highway 7 through a culvert just east of the Moira River. The Ministry of Environment has erected a fence of chain link topped with barbed wire around the creek on the north side of the highway to prevent entry and signage indicating the area is hazardous and radioactive (photo #4). This work was completed only after we charged them for pollution crimes related to the mine site.
Unfortunately, a large section of the fence near the east side of the culvert has fallen into the water (photos #5 & #6), making entry to this highly contaminated area possible. Photo #3
We wondered how long it has been in disrepair. In view of the collapsed silt fencing we saw along the Moira River, it looks as though the Ministry of Environment isn’t keeping a very close eye on the situation. Photo #3
Photo #7 We took a water sample near the culvert and noticed a layer of scum on the water just east of our sampling point (photos #4 and #7). It had a slightly oily sheen to it. Another sample was collected and some of the scum smeared on the container. It was somewhat sticky, appeared to have some solid materials in it, and was light brownish-orange in colour.

Having collected all our samples, we proceeded to deliver them to the lab in Kingston.

EBI Soil Sample results (August 10th, 2001):

Parameter              Sample
Arsenic                        20
Cobalt                          11
Nickel                          <1
all units in µg/g 

EBI Water Sampleing Results for Youngs Creek & Moira River (August 10th, 2001)

Parameter           Youngs Creek          Youngs Creek          Moira River
Arsenic                                 10.7                            5.60                         0.155
Cobalt                                0.0785                     0.0454                       0.0020
Nickle                                  <0.02                       <0.02                         <0.02
all units in mg/L