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Fears untreated water could end up in river Carnon sparks pumping operation at Wheal Jane

By WBJLock  |  Posted: February 11, 2014

Wheal Jane site. Image from Google Maps.

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FEARS dangerous mine water could make its way into a river near Redruth has sparked an emergency pumping operation to get under way.

Untreated water saturated with different metals had been rising in the Wheal Jane mine site from Friday following the onslaught of recent storms.

The Coal Authority, who run the site, had co-ordinated with Cornwall Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency to launch an operation in an attempt to reduce the rising water level, before it contaminated the near-by river Carnon.

Three high capacity pumping engines are now on site and a spokesman from the Environment Agency said the water level began to fall this morning.

The spokesman added that the water had been rising over the past few days.

The Falmouth-based Cornwall Port Health Authority is said to be collecting shellfish from a near-by estuary to check if is contaminated.

Shellfish act as a filter and it would be possible to tell if metal had passed through them by analysing their flesh.

The results have not been released yet.

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: “There’s a joint operation that has been going on since Friday.

“The water level had continued to rise despite pumping engines being present over the weekend.

"It could be dangerous, but we hope strong river currents would have washed it away if it did breach.

“But now the water level is dropping and we are sure it will continue to do so.”

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  • CheesePasty  |  February 11 2014, 6:55PM

    Incorrect journalism again ! The fire brigade & Environment Agency have been on site for the last 5 days if not longer with pumps &'2 way traffic lights ... (And why was my previous comment removed ???)

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  • CheesePasty  |  February 11 2014, 6:48PM

    Why does this article (dated 11th February) imply that pumps were brought onto site today ? The local fire brigade & also the Environment Agency have been there, complete with traffic lights and pumps with associated hoses running across the road for at least the last 5 days - if not longer. Seems this problem has been in the making for a while, yet the EA and other authorities are perhaps trying to play down the severity of it ??

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  • break  |  February 11 2014, 4:19PM

    Why is the 'Coal Authority' in charge of an disused tin mine?

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