RWL Holdings Ltd. in Travellers Rest has purchased new technology for a high-speed potato wash facility with an investment from the federal and provincial governments. From left to right: Austin Roberts, co-owner of RWL Holdings Ltd, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea and Agriculture and Forestry Minister George Webster (Courtesy Journal Pioneer).

RWL Holdings Ltd. was advised by the Department of Environment Friday morning to stop all releases of wash water from the property. The water stopped flowing by late morning.

RWL will now put a plan in place to deal with the water issue, and have it approved by the department.

“Over the last two months, too much silt laden wash was being generated at the operation,” the department said.

In February, 2014, the Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Business Development Program, invested $500,000 towards the purchase of equipment for the operation and the provincial government through the Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Growing Forward 2 Programs, invested a total of $69,000 in this project.

The move by the province comes after weeks of complaints filed by an area resident, Chris Wall, who said he is concerned about the fate of the Barbara Weit River.

“The Barbara Weit River is not very far from going anoxic,” he said. “I was told that there was too much suspended solids entering the watershed. That creates oxygen demand and that will lead to an anoxic event or help speed up an anoxic event.”

He said the river has been somewhat improved due to the additional treatment facilities of Cavendish Farms over the last number of years.

“But we’re taking baby steps ahead,” Wall said. “We don’t want to take baby steps behind as well.”

Wall said Department of Environment officials have told him that new equipment is on order to help deal with the issue.