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Posted: May 10, 2018
The trial checked the effects of salinity on young Striped bass as part of the environmental monitoring for the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project. A 96 hour trial is a scientific standard used to test the tolerance of fish to specific environmental conditions such as salinity.
In the trial, which took place in the fall of 2016, young Striped bass were monitored for 96 hours in a tank located in a Faculty of Agriculture lab at Dalhousie University in Truro, NS. As expected, the fish adapted easily to the 28 ppt (parts per thousand) salinity in the tank. As background, 28 ppt means 28 grams of salt per litre of water. Full strength seawater is about 30 ppt around coastal Nova Scotia.
The salinity of the Shubenacadie River estuary at the Alton Gas site varies greatly from freshwater to close to full seawater depending on the tide and the amount of rainfall.
At Alton, 28 ppt is an important number. The brining control system will automatically maintain salinity levels in the channel where brine is released to no more than 7 ppt above the estuary’s natural background level and will shut down completely to stay below the 28 ppt value. This is an important safeguard at Alton to ensure the release of brine mirrors the natural salinity in the river and always remains below a safe level for the fish. To learn more about the trial and to watch the fish, view the 96 hours of the trial and the introductory video.