Read about the actions taken to monitor the water quality of the Doce River and the sea
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Read about the actions taken to monitor the water quality of the Doce River and the sea

5/19/2016 4:00 PM

Samarco is committed to answering all questions relating to the measures adopted and the ongoing task of restoring the environment in areas affected by the breach of the Fundao dam with maximum transparency. Immediately following the incident, the company implemented a comprehensive plan to monitor and improve the quality of the water in the Rio Doce and the sea, complemented by studies relating to the species present in both habitats. The results are forwarded on a weekly basis to the competent environmental authorities involved.

Examples of the monitoring and improvement initiatives are listed below

  • Definition of 118 monitoring points in conjunction with the environmental and other authorities involved. Of these, 84 are located in the Rio Doce basin and 34 in the ocean, extending for approximately one thousand kilometres.
  • Construction of three containment dykes for the residual sediment from the Fundao dam.
  • Revegetation of riverbanks to prevent sediment deposited on them from being washed downstream and elevating the turbidity level of the waters.
  • Expedition equipped with sonar to identify the presence of marine fauna and other elements along full extent of the river.
  • Daily monitoring of turbidity levels in the Rio Doce at 22 locations defined by IBAMA.
  • More than 500,000 water analyses completed, producing 25,000 reports.
  • Bioaccumulation studies on fish in the Doce estuary.
  • Monitoring of the turbidity plume by overflying affected area three times a week.
  • Maintaining an open and constant dialogue with all the environmental and government agencies in Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, either by regular meetings or by forwarding the relevant information to ensure that everyone has access to the latest details on the recovery effort.

Based on data obtained from the 84 monitoring points and particularly the reports by the National Waters Authority (acronym ANA in Portuguese), the Brazilian Geological Service (CPRM) and the National Environmental Council (Conama), conditions in the Rio Doce are currently much the same as they were prior to the breach of the Fundao dam. The turbidity readings taken in April corroborate the quality of the water, with values below 100 NTU. Read more.

Results obtained from university analyses also show that there has been no change in the quality of fish and crustaceans. The studies were based on samples of fish, prawns and oysters collected at six fishing stations in the Doce estuary and the nearby ocean region between December 2015 and February 2016. In March, a second expedition, equipped with sonar, that covered the full extent of the river, continued to observe and map the presence of marine fauna in the watercourse in much the same way as the initial expedition in December 2015.

Read more about the steps taken by Samarco to measure and improve the quality of the water.