New online water quality sensors have been installed as part of the environmental monitoring program in order to improve the Naryn River monitoring.Since 2014, the Naryn River Monitoring Program has been carried out jointly with a group of researchers of the Naryn State University. New sensors have been custom-ordered from Canada; they register the river water quality data every 15 minutes. This allows to monitor the quality of water for 24 hours, and the data dynamics is included in the environmental reports.
Senior Environment Engineer of Kumtor Mine’s Environmental Department Aibek Abduvaliev reported that the company had delegated responsibilities on sample-taking from the Naryn River to the Naryn community. “Since 2012, the Government has started laying claims to Kumtor Company that no proper environmental monitoring of the Naryn River was carried out. We have negotiated with the Naryn State University, which organized a group led by the NSU researcher, Associate Professor Ermek Baybagyshev, and made a contract for water sampling on a weekly basis,” A. Abduvaliev said. Sampling is carried out according to the procedures adopted by Kumtor Gold Company. The Agreement between KGC and Naryn State University stipulates the necessary consumable material support. In addition, the company handed over the laboratory equipment for identifying certain types of bacteriological contamination of the river.
E. Baybagyshev emphasized that sensors measure the electrical conductivity and the water level every 15 minutes. Three devices were installed on the bank of the Naryn River in the city of Naryn and upstream, on the banks of Big and Small Naryn. “We take water samples from the Naryn River at the city gateway, in the downtown and downstream, at the river exit from the city, on a weekly basis. And the readings of new sensors will be taken once a month.”
Kumtor Gold Company’s monitoring programs take into account both Kyrgyz and international standards. Water samples taken from the Naryn River are carried out by the Stewart Assay and Environmental Laboratories LLC (SAEL is a branch of ALS Global Laboratory Group), located in Kara-Balta. Kumtor regularly revises the sampling program and procedures, improving them where necessary, like, for example, installation of the new water quality sensors in the Naryn River.