The majority of Gleniffer Lake has reopened, just in time for the Canada Day weekend, after oil spilled into its waters in early June.
The lake has reopened for boating and swimming due to “successful clean-up efforts” throughout the lake and along the shoreline, Alberta Environment said in a news release Thursday.
On June 7, 3,000 barrels (475,000 litres) of light sour crude oil was released into the Red Deer River from a ruptured Plains Midstream pipeline about one kilometre north of Sundre.
The spill flowed into the lake reservoir, southwest of Red Deer. It has been closed off to residents. It is now reopened (as of Thursday.)
The far southwest corner of the lake near Dickson Point will remain closed to the public.
The Cottonwood day-use area will also remain closed.
Shoreline fishing is allowed at Dickson Trout Pond but boats are not allowed.
The water quality monitoring results on the lake are “within Alberta’s standards and do not pose a risk to human health,” stated the release.
The majority of hydrocarbons have been contained and removed, with hydrocarbon levels steadily decreasing.
No new hydrocarbons are being detected.
Shoreline assessments were conducted by experts from Alberta Health Services, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, and company representatives.
Staff walked approximately 25 kilometres of shoreline to assess the clean-up and determined the shoreline conditions were adequate.
Water quality monitoring will continue through the weekend and following weeks to ensure levels remain low.
According to Alberta Environment, there is a possibility of slight increases in hydrocarbon detection once the lake is reopened to boat traffic.
Shoreline clean-up will continue up until the release point until provincial environmental standard are met.
There is no definite time line for how long clean-up will take.
For water quality monitoring data and analysis, visit environment.alberta.ca/04036.html.