Friends of the Richelieu. A river. A passion.

"Tout cedit pays est fort uny, remply de forests, vignes & noyers. Aucuns Chrestiens n'estoient encores parvenus jusques en cedit lieu, que nous, qui eusmes assez de peine à monter le riviere à la rame. " Samuel de Champlain

"All this region is very level and full of forests, vines and butternut trees. No Christian has ever visited this land and we had all the misery of the world trying to paddle the river upstream." Samuel de Champlain

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Éteindre des feux, colorer des cours d'eau

Photo: Kelly Hayes

Dans la même semaine, deux feux de commerces, ou plutôt la façon que les pompiers éteignent les feux, ont contaminé des cours d'eau.

L'une des victimes, Mill Creek qui se jette dans le lac Okanagan, en Colombie Britannique, a reçu des pesticides, du glycol, des nitrates et des engrais via les égouts, gratuité d'un feu dans un entrepot, l'un des 7 commerces qui ont brûlés samedi le 31 juillet 2010. L'un des riverains se plaignait d'une couleur verte maladive du ruisseau derrière chez lui et de la puanteur.

L'autre victime est Trail Creek, en Georgie. Le coupable est un feu dans l'usine de J&J Chemical Co., une compagnie qui fabrique des produits désinfectants et déodorisants utilisés dans les toilettes publiques. Les produits chimiques d'une couleur bleu foncé et à forte odeur ont descendu le ruisseau et se rendent jusqu'à la rivière Oconee. On a rapporté des poissons et des tortues morts.Photo: David Manning

"Fire suppression creates environmental emergency

Officials continue to monitor water quality in Mill Creek and Okanagan Lake in Kelowna (BC) following chemical contamination as a result of an industrial fire Saturday. Hot Sands Beach in Kelowna City Park and the beaches around the mouth of Mill Creek on Okanagan Lake will remain closed until further notice.

A combination of pesticides, glycol, nitrates and fertilizer were washed into the storm sewer from a Kirschner Road chemical distribution warehouse, one of at least seven businesses in the Stewart Centre that burned down in the spectacular blaze.

Residents reported Mill Creek, a spawning habitat in their backyards, green and foul smelling."

Excerpts from article written by Doris Janssen on the CHBC News Website here:

"Tests results on spilled chemicals expected Monday

Firefighters poured an estimated 1.5 millions of water onto a fire that destroyed the J&J Chemical Co. in Athens Technology Park off Olympic Drive on Wednesday.

Much of that water wound up in nearby Trail Creek, coloring the creek a bright blue. Before the fire, J&J manufactured restroom deodorizers, graffiti remover, foaming hand soap and other products, some containing toxic chemicals such as methanol, para-dichlorobenzene, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde.

But as the spill stretched along the North Oconee River - turning the river greenish-blue and giving off an odor - Athens-Clarke officials released some preliminary findings Saturday afternoon. Early tests showed detectable amounts of dichlorobenzene, an organic compound with a strong smell associated with disinfectant and deodorant used in waste containers and restrooms.

The blue water killed fish and small turtles in Trail Creek, EPD officials and other observers said. Ben Emanuel, the Oconee River project director for the Altamaha Riverkeeper, tracked it all the way to the point where the North and Middle Oconee rivers join to form the Oconee River, at the border of Clarke County and Oconee County. By measuring the water's conductivity, he found evidence that even miles downstream the water contained more chemical contamination than normal, but his basic tests couldn't show what the chemicals are."

Excerpts from article written by Lee Shearer published in Online Athens here:

"Meeting set to address environmental concerns over creek contamination

Three environmental organizations called a public gathering for tonight at the Athens-Clarke County Library to share information about water contamination from a chemical fire last week. The Altamaha Riverkeeper, the Upper Oconee Watershed Network and Athens Grow Green scheduled the meeting for 6 tonight in the auditorium at the library, 2025 Baxter St.

People who live near or visit Trail Creek and the North Oconee River have been clamoring for information about the spill since a fire early Wednesday at the J&J Chemical Co. sent smelly, blue water coursing down the creek and into the North Oconee.

The chemicals flowed into a branch of Trail Creek near East Athens during and after a fire that broke out early Wednesday at J&J Chemical, located in Athens Technology Park off Olympic Drive. Athens-Clarke firefighters poured an estimated 1.5 million gallons of water on the 30,000-square-foot chemical plant, where workers manufactured restroom deodorizers, graffiti remover, foaming hand soap and other products."

Excerpts from article written by Roger Nielsen published in Online Athens here:

With water levels getting lower, and chemicals getting more harmful, I think the methods we use to fight fires will have to adapt to our concerns for the environment.

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