Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
FIA Project 6858002

    Water Quality Effectiveness Evaluation (WQEE) for the Queen Charlotte Mainline and Honna River, Haida Gwaii, BC
Project lead: BC Timber Sales (BC Ministry of Forests and Range)
Author: Baird, Elizabeth
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program
Forest roads can contribute significant amounts of sediment to nearby streams (Luce and Wemple, 2001) with subsequent impacts on aquatic ecology and water quality, including drinking water quality. The Village of Queen Charlotte, BC, is planning to use the Honna River as their new drinking water source. However, there are concerns about high turbidity due to sediment from logging roads next to the river, specifically the Queen Charlotte Mainline South. High turbidity in drinking water is a health risk because it makes treatment (chlorination and ultraviolet sterilization) less effective.
The Ministry of Forest and Range- Forest and Range Evaluation Program (FREP) recently (2008) developed an indicator based water quality assessment methodology called the Water Quality Effectiveness Evaluation (WQEE). The WQEE assesses the contribution of fine sediment to the stream network as a result of forest operations. The procedure employs a field based approach to assess stream crossings. Systematic measurements are taken at each crossing within an area of concern yielding an estimate of the volume of sediment the crossing may deliver to the stream network. Initial validation of the WQEE suggests that the volumes calculated differ by an order of approximation, however this error margin is considered acceptable as the risk classes the system employs span several orders of approximation (Floyd, 2008).
A WQEE assessment of the portion of the Queen Charlotte Mainline South with the potential to deliver sediment to the Honna River was completed to establish an estimate of the amount of sediment generated by the road on an annual basis. This assessment is part of a larger project which is attempting to determine the contribution of the Queen Charlotte mainline to overall turbidity levels in the Honna River. This report will present a summary of the crossing results and field cards with detailed information about individual crossings.


WQEE Final Report (3.7Mb)

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Updated August 16, 2010 

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