Water Quality in the Elk Valley: Five Things to Know

More than 4,000 people work across our four steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley in southeastern British Columbia. They raise their families in the valley, they fish and swim in the river, and they care deeply about ensuring the environment is protected. That’s why we’re focused on responsible mining and on ensuring that the environment and water quality are maintained in the valley, now and for generations to come.

When it comes to water quality, our goal is to ensure the health of the watershed and support continued sustainable mining in the Elk Valley. Here are five things to know about how we’re working to meet that goal:

1. Expanding Water Treatment Capacity

In 2021, we expect to have capacity to treat more than 54 million litres of water per day – nearly triple our 2020 treatment capacity. We expect further significant reductions in selenium and nitrate as additional facilities come on line later this year.

2. Using Saturated Rock Fill Technology
Saturated Rock Fill technology, developed through Teck’s water quality research and development program in partnership with leading water quality experts, achieves near complete removal of selenium and nitrate from treated water.

3. Adding Water Treatment Facilities

We have now doubled water treatment capacity at our Elkview Saturated Rock Fill to 20 million litres per day. Later this year, we expect to complete construction of our Fording River South Water Treatment Facility as well as the first phase of our Fording River North Saturated Rock Fill.

4. Using Liners to Reduce Nitrate at the Source

In 2021, the majority blast holes at our steelmaking coal operations will contain a liner that significantly reduces nitrate at the source and help to protect water quality. This method was invented by Teck.

5. Investing in R&D
We have more than 25 research and development projects underway to help us improve water quality in the Elk Valley. Projects include those to advance smaller in situ water treatment facilities that can be built closer to where treatment is needed.

For more information on Water Quality in the Elk Valley, click here.

You can also read more on this topic, as well as how we’re building a sustainable future in the last issue of Connect, Better Mining. Better World.