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Published November 30, 2012, 03:06 PM

State Leaders Find Water Quality Encouraging

The two Devils Lake outlets ran together for the first time this year, contributing to a three foot drop in lake levels for this year alone. Now state leaders have examined how the water is affecting the rivers it now flows through.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

The two Devils Lake outlets ran together for the first time this year, contributing to a three foot drop in lake levels for this year alone. Now state leaders have examined how the water is affecting the rivers it now flows through.

Officials were concerned that high sulfate levels in Devils Lake water could harm downstream rivers but say test results on river water are encouraging. Sulfate levels from water in stump lake test at around 2,300 parts per million. That water is pumped into the Sheyenne River, which flows into the Red River. Tests show that sulfate levels did spike in the Sheyenne and Red once outlet water started flowing through but they were well within normal limits. The issue became international as well with Canadian officials expressing concern over sulfates reaching them in the Red, but tests at the Pembina border show sulfate levels of only 450 parts per million, under the threshold for concern.

Sulfate numbers are encouraging partly because the majority of the water flowing in the Sheyenne and Red rivers came from Devils Lake since there was so little natural flow into the rivers this summer. High sulfate levels can potentially be dangerous to both plant and animal life in rivers.

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