Environment Canada – Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Division


To monitor water quality along the Athabasca and Peace Rivers downstream of the Alberta oilsands.


  • Manual water sampling for monitoring of basic water quality parameters (such as pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and nutrient levels) has been occurring  on a regular basis since 1989.
  • In 2012, automated  water quality monitoring stations were set up on floating platforms on the Athabasca and Peace Rivers. The stations are designed to continuously monitor basic water quality parameters such as pH, conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and temperature, as well as additional parameters that may be linked to industrial activities in the region. Weather data such as wind speed and direction and air temperature are also recorded.
  • The automated stations include passive water quality samplers which are suspended from the platforms for the collection of monthly water samples. These samples will be sent to a lab for analysis of levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, metals and napthenic  acids.


Key locations along the Athabasca and Peace Rivers, near and in Wood Buffalo National Park.


Manual water samples for basic water quality monitoring have been collected on a regular basis since 1989. Automated stations capable of continuous monitoring were added in 2012.

Project Lead:

Kerry Pippy
Environment Canada
5019-52nd Street
Yellowknife, NT X1A 1T5

Phone: 867-669-4747
Email: kerry.pippy@ec.gc.ca