Coalspur Groundwater Monitoring Program

Vista Coal Mine, AB, Canada

Project Details

Prime Consultant

Coalspur Mines Operations Ltd.

January, 2021



Environment | Hydrogeology

Project Profile

Coalspur Mines (Operations) Ltd. is required to conduct groundwater monitoring and sampling activities throughout the year at the Vista Mine, in accordance with both their Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Water Act approvals. The results of the monitoring and sampling are required to be sent to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) annually.
Since 2018, ISL has completed the annual groundwater monitoring reports for submission to the AER. Beginning in 2021, ISL took over the field groundwater monitoring and sampling activities, as well as continued with the reporting. ISL ensured that all groundwater data was collected on time at the required frequencies and in accordance with the latest AER procedures and approvals. We constantly reviewed data throughout the year to allow for quick evaluations of existing or emerging trends, and adaptations of the groundwater monitoring program on a bimonthly basis, as needed.



  • The required frequency of water level measurements made manual readings cost prohibitive
  • The depth of some monitoring wells made sampling them with traditional purging techniques difficult and time-consuming.


  • Pressure transducers were installed in the thirteen source and dewatering wells that require weekly water levels to reduce costs.
  • ISL engaged with the AER to determine if no-purge sampling methods would be acceptable at the site. A comparative sampling program was undertaken and a submission was made to the AER for the acceptance of no-purge sampling techniques