Is Fort McMurray’s water supply contaminated by the wildfire?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

As residents try to resume their lives more than a month after a ferocious wildfire forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, crucial questions about its impact on their water supply still have no clear answers.

It’s why Monica Emelko, a University of Waterloo expert in water quality and water treatment, left for the devastated Alberta city last week after spending countless hours on the phone with government officials since the crisis escalated in early May.

“Our research has very real implications for people, so as long as we’re useful, we’ll continue to help,” says the Waterloo civil and environmental engineering professor.

Fort McMurry wildfire

Emelko and colleagues at the Southern Rockies Watershed Project are uniquely qualified to tackle complex issues in Fort McMurray after studying the impact of wildfire on water supplies for more than a dozen years.

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