Study looks at Honna water

  • Feb. 25, 2009 8:00 p.m.

Sometimes water that looks like a milkshake hits Queen Charlotte’s future water source, the Honna River, and a new scientific study is trying to determine where it’s coming from. Brian Eccles of the Ministry of Forests said he and others who are part of the village’s new watershed advisory committee are working to put in turbidity metres at points above and below the QC Mainline to find out how much sediment is from the road and how much might be naturally occurring. He said the sediment could be from logging, roads or natural landslides. QC public works superintendent Ben Greenough says one meter has been installed at the intake on the Honna River and another will go in at a point above the main logging road. He said a traffic counter has been installed as well, which will add to the data. Mr. Eccles says it’s hard to say how much impact the sediment has on water quality, but that’s one of the things the committee wants to find out. “We don’t know if there’s an effect on water. It looks dirty, but its not much volume from road edge,” he says. The monitoring must be in place for one to two years before any results will be of use, he says. They are also hoping to include data from other sites into the study, possibly with the help of a graduate student. Village administrator Eunice Ludlow said the committee also includes representatives from Island Timberlands, which holds 17 percent of the watershed in private timberlands, Western Forest Products (whose logging plans are on hold), Department of Fisheries, Health and more. She said another goal for the committee is to get citizens to show a little more respect for the watershed, but not dumping garbage and deer carcasses in the area. According to Mr. Eccles, there is no logging in the area at the moment and hauling is not expected to take place until next fall. The Observer could not reach anyone from Island Timberlands to discuss the timeline of their logging plans by deadline.