The North Saskatchewan River is cleaner compared to just 50 years ago.
Many strides have been made in improving and ensuring the river and the surrounding ecosystem are healthy.
"50 years ago, just downstream of Edmonton, the river was in quite rough shape," stated Northeast Capital Industrial Association executive director Laurie Danielson. "In most cases fish could not survive in the river."
That changed dramatically with modifications to the Goldbar Wastewater Treatment Facility and the introduction of the Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Though the river is doing well, there are still issues with nutrients in the river. Municipal and industrial dischargers are working with the province to evaluate and determine steps to manage the issue.
Eight industrial facilities discharge directly into the North Saskatchewan.
"From an industrial perspective, we're actually above the approval requirements that industrial players have," explains Danielson. "It's looking at a large number of chemical species, more than we ever have before, seeing if we can manage a bit better."
In the spring, the river is usually a bit muddier. In late summer and fall, the river flow slows down and the water clears up.
Fish from the North Saskatchewan River shouldn't be eaten more than once a week, pregnant women should not consume the fish at all. Most mercury accumulation in Alberta fish comes from natural sources.
31012017northsaskriverThe North Saskatchewan River last summer. Photo courtesy Northeast Capital Industrial Association.

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