Work continues at the tailings pond near Salmo.

Tension over tailings pond near Salmo eases

The concern over the tailings pond near Salmo is easing after hard work and favourable day of weather.

The concern over the tailings pond near Salmo is easing after hard work and favourable day of weather.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay issued a press release late Thursday afternoon saying the situation with sloughing and seepage at the tailings pond on the old HB Mine site near the Village of Salmo is improving. The tailings pond is owned by the RDCK as part of their central landfill area.

Heavy rainfall, particularly Tuesday, and inflow from creeks and streams caused sloughing and ongoing seepage to the dam structure and road surface. The problems were identified as part of a regular monthly inspection of the dam.

The improvement in weather on Wednesday and Thursday, coupled with the installation of additional high capacity pumps to draw down the pond, has reduced the pressure and lowered the water level considerably in the past 24 hours. Siphoning hoses and other equipment is also being sent from the East Kootenay and Alberta to assist with reducing the pressure on the dam.

Environmental monitoring and sampling is taking place daily at three on-site locations: at the top end of the tailings pond, at the top of the spillway and downstream at the culvert crossing Highway 3 and 6.

The RDCK says the surface water being pumped and flowing down the spillway and a natural drainage area on the other side of the dam is “relatively clean.” There is some cloudiness from sediment and turbidity caused by erosion and sloughing from the dam itself. The tailings are particulate and ordinarily do not dissolve, although minute amounts could be suspended particulate as a result of lowering the water levels.

Pumps have been strategically placed to ensure there is no disturbance of tailings.

All water being pumped is flowing downstream in the channels as intended. The two flow streams join and enter a culvert at the highway and then into a drainage ditch before entering the Salmo River. There have been no impacts on the few residents in the immediate area.

The press release said that engineers are on site from the RDCK and assisting agencies are developing a longer term remediation plan once the pond has been lowered to a more manageable level. This will involve examining piping and other refinements made to the tailings pond and dam over the years. Once the exact sources of seepages are identified and the structure is determined safe for heavy equipment and operators, in-filling, shoring and rock replacement will begin.

The HB mine site tailings pond is located approximately 0.5 kilometres east of the Crowsnest Highway (3 & 6). It is about 7 kilometres south of the Village of Salmo in the West Kootenay Selkirk Mountain range. The tailings pond has a surface area of approximately 6 hectares.

 

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Applications sought for annual Nelson heritage award

Deadline for submissions is Oct. 30.

Playmor Junction daycare expansion faces opposition

Neighbours upset with rezoning application, citing traffic, noise and concerns about future uses

Trafalgar Thunder take gold in Oliver

The Thunder knocked out the top seed in the semis en route to gold

Patrick Mackle running for mayor of Kaslo

Mackle is taking on incumbent Suzan Hewat and Andy Shadrack

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Most Read