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Groundwater

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In March 2015, groundwater monitoring wells were installed around the perimeter of the derailment site to monitor the condition of the shallow groundwater and to determine groundwater flow direction. This shallow groundwater is not the source of Gogama's drinking water. To date, results from the perimeter wells have been below regulatory screening standards. 

Additional groundwater monitoring wells were installed throughout the site after soil removal and backfilling activities were completed. These wells were installed to provide more information about the shallow groundwater quality at the site including the groundwater quality in the source area on both sides of the rail tracks. Groundwater samples are being collected quarterly from all of the wells on site. Results continue to be shared with the regulators.   

The first sampling event that included the additional wells was completed in November 2015.  An additional round was completed in December 2015.  Results from these sampling events show that concentrations of oil components are below screening standards at all of the new wells with the exception of the monitoring wells located in the source area, immediately adjacent to the rail embankment, which still contains oil. 

The oil is contained with waterproofed steel sheet piling, booms, and underground concrete barriers which prevent oil or oily water from entering the river system. CN has developed a flushing program to remove the oil remaining in the railway embankment. Concentrations are expected to decrease in the monitoring wells in 2016. CN will continue to closely monitor the groundwater monitoring wells surrounding the railway embankment to ensure the impacts remain in the localized area.  Additionally, recovery points have been installed in the railway embankment to measure oil levels in the railway embankment and to monitor the progress of the flushing/recovery efforts moving forward. 

Learn more about the rail embankment flushing program.

Please visit our Maps page to view a figure showing the locations of the monitoring wells.