2:51pm Thursday 1st February 2007 in Video
A special investigation into the extent of heavy metal contamination at the Wheal Maid Tailings Lagoon at Gwennap near Redruth starts next week said the Environment Agency.
Specialist contractors URS will be drilling boreholes for groundwater monitoring and sampling soils on the site, which is owned by Gwennap Parish Council. The investigation will start on January 29 and last for three weeks although the wider study will be completed in April.
Samples will also be taken from the St Day Stream and a CCTV survey will be taken of the Wheal Maid Stream, which flows through a 1.2 metre diameter concrete pipe under the site.
The 10 hectare (24 acre) Wheal Maid site is a legacy from the tin mining era. It was used in the 1970s and 80s and comprised two mine tailing lagoons and three tailing dams. Material from the Mount Wellington and Wheal Jane mines were tipped there.
"There have been concerns about this site and our investigation will confirm whether the mine waste is a risk to people using the area and if it is polluting the Wheal Maid Stream,' said Joe Ryan for the Environment Agency.
We know the area is used for biking and scrambling but it is important that people keep off the site during this work because of the danger from lorries and other heavy equipment."