Off-road trail to temporarily close next week

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Photo by JOSH MCDONALD The Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg. The plant has been in operation for more than 40 years, it was initially built exclusively for use of the Bunker Hill Mine, but will now be used to treat any contaminated groundwater that gets pumped to it. The plant can treat up to 5,000 gallons of water per minute.

The narrow, fenced in, dirt trail located between Interstate 90 and the north side of the Central Impoundment Area (CIA) in Kellogg will be closing this coming Monday.

The popular ATV trail will be closed from Sept. 11, until approximately Nov. 15.

Closure of the trail is required for construction work related to the groundwater collection system monitoring wells.

Those who use the trail between Kellogg and Smelterville will have to travel McKinley Avenue if using a motorized vehicle.

The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes will not affected by this construction and is open for walkers and bike riders, however no motorized vehicles are allowed on that trail.

The groundwater collection system will capture water that flows through metal-rich tailings from mining activities that are contained within the CIA (or more commonly referred to as the “slag pile”) between Kellogg and Smelterville.

The CIA is the biggest single source of dissolved zinc pollution to the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River.

The system will consist of a series of extraction wells and an underground retaining wall between the CIA and I-90.

The contaminated water will be piped to the Central Treatment Plant (CTP) in Kellogg., which is located across the street and down the hill of Kellogg City Hall.

There, it will be treated to meet water quality standards and then discharged back into the South Fork.

For more information contact Rene Gilbert, the community liaison for the Coeur d’Alene Basin at (208) 659-5237.

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