A month after millions of cubic meters of watery sludge gushed out of the Mount Polley tailings pond, residents living nearby are getting on with their lives.
Skeed Borkowski who owns a lodge and a fishing business on the lake says things are a “new normal.”
He says visitors are starting to return, but you can’t escape evidence of the spill, like the piles of debris along the lake.
“It’s just really weird looking stuff. All these piles – debris piles – all the limbs and short pieces of trees or whatever there’s no bark on anything.”
Borkowski says he still won’t drink the water or let his guests drink it, even though he’s seen the tests. He’s even been out on the water with the testers, he says he is just not sure yet.
And, he says, he won’t take people fishing on Quesnel Lake.
Al Richmond with the Cariboo Regional District says what people around Mount Polley need right now is support.
“It’s a great place. There’s some great rooms to be had in Likely and surrounding country and we encourage you to come up. It’s a great place to be. It’s just an unfortunate incident and we’ll survive this one as well but we certainly could use community support, British Columbians support to come and visit us”
Still, Richmond says the local state of emergency order will stay in place until the plug at the base of Mount Polley is declared stable — hopefully next week.
He’s meeting again with the government and mine owner, Imperial Metals, next week.
An investigation by three engineers into what caused the tailings pond failure is expected to deliver results in December.