Summitville superfund site update

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

The water treatment plant, funded by $17 million in federal stimulus spending, has been eyed by federal and state environmental officials as a key component in limiting contamination from the site. It joins a new micro-hydro power plant and a dam spillway as projects crews worked on this summer. “There’s quite a lot going on this year,” said Austin Buckingham, project manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment…

Austin Buckingham said the new plant, which will draw water from the impoundment dam at the bottom of the site, will use lime to raise the pH balance of the contaminated water. The rise in pH forces the metals to precipitate. Those metals include copper, cadmium, manganese, zinc, lead, nickel, aluminum, and iron. With a capacity of 1,600 gallons per minute and the ability to run at night, thanks to automation, the plant is expected to have an easier time dealing with spring runoff from the site, which sits near tree line 18 miles southwest of Del Norte…

Other projects moving forward this year include the installation of a 56 kilowatt hydro power plant, which is expected to cut an estimated $15,000 per year off the site’s power bill. Turbines for the plant are expected to arrive in two weeks, she said. The turbines will be powered by water coming from the treatment plant on its way to Wrightman Fork, a tributary of the Alamosa River.

More Summitville Mine coverage here and here.

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