Minor mine water spill reported | VailDaily.com

Minor mine water spill reported

Cliff Thompson

The spill occurred when maintenance work was being performed on a 12-inch pipe running from the mine to the water plant. During the operation, the system backed up and overflowed from a manhole.None of the water reached the Eagle River. Most of it was confined to the paved parking lot of the treatment building.The rusty and orangish snow in the parking lot was plowed into the holding pond of the nearby tailings pile from the mine. When the remnants of the spill dries, a sweeper will remove what is left, said Joe Trujillo of Frank & Coles, which operates the plant for the mine’s owner, Viacom.Water leaking from the mine is treated at the plant to remove metals and other contaminants before they reach the river. The $1 million annual water treatment bill is paid by Viacom.”The (Eagle River) Watershed Council is glad to know that when something like this goes wrong, that Viacom has the people in place to take care of it,” said Joe Macy, president of the council.It was seepage from the mine and various tailings piles near the mine that killed a seven-mile long stretch of the Eagle River in the early 1980s, necessitating a $70 million cleanup that is in its final stages.Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555 ext 450 or cthompson@vaildaily.com

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