An oil sands client hired Barr to assess the ecological status of pilot-scale ponds constructed in the early 1990s. These ponds have been researched for decades to help understand the potential for ecological development of end-pit lakes, former mine pits that may contain tailings as well as fresh water or oil-sand-process water or both.
Barr designed and implemented an assessment program for 11 test ponds to understand biological conditions in the ponds after two decades under natural conditions. These small, water-capped, closed systems had initially been established using combinations of tailings or natural soils with process water or fresh water as the cap. We worked with the client to collect water, plant, organism, and sediment samples from each pond for an ecological trend analysis of water chemistry parameters, phytoplankton, zooplankton, microbes, aquatic macrophytes, aquatic macroinvertebrates, sediment, and water microbes.
Senior Water Resources Scientist
Vice President Senior Civil Engineer
Vice President Senior Ecologist