The cleanup of century-old contamination underneath the stretch of the Mettawee River in Granville is moving along, with re-routing of a stretch of the river yet to happen.
I got a look earlier this week at the work that has been done so far. It's quite an impressive effort, but it's not doing the river's trout any favors.
All of the trees and cover for the river have been removed along both sides of the banks at the Granville Little League field. A good portion of the field complex is off limits too. You can, though, enter the site from the river, which is shallow there.
That removal of cover will allow the stream to warm there more than it would normally, which will have an impact on coldwater-loving fish downstream such as the river's brook, brown and rainbow trout. Low water and high heat the last couple of summers have hurt the river's trout numbers substantially, and this may be yet another blow.
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Contractors are working to remove and/or encapsulate coal tar that polluted the former Granville Gas & Electric gas manufacturing site from 1898 to 1946. Coal tar is considered a human carcinogen.
The pollution has been mostly buried below the river an Little League field.
Contractors plan to temporarily re-route part of the river in the coming weeks, a move that should be interesting to watch.
-- Don Lehman