Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spokane River

This is my second in a series of comments that shoot holes into the commonly accepted falsehoods generated by public institutions and the media. For instance, the term "Heavy Metals" is one that rolls right off the tongue without another thought. That in my opinion is the problem. Too much knee-jerk, not enough facts.

In my previous rant, I pointed out the millions of years of erosion that took place to form the Silver Valley. Erosion that uncovered vast amount of yes, heavy metals. Let's examine the term "Heavy Metals." For the purpose of this argument I will define it as being more dense than surrounding environment. Heavier than water? It sinks to the bottom. Heavier than the sand and gravel on the bottom? it sinks to bedrock.

Back to the Spokane River. Fishermen are warned not to eat the fish that are caught in the river due to pollution. Fishermen in Lake Coeur d'Alene are not. What really is screwing up the river, is industrial and sewage pollution.

First and foremost is the amounts of PCB's in the river. Although minute amounts can be found in old electronic equipment, the primary source appears to be old electrical transformers. These discarded transformers, or their previous contents, were dumped by our local electrical utilities.

Secondly, the increased amounts of treated sewage, (and untreated as well) is overcoming the river's ability to absorb and as a result is causing large algae blooms to occur in slack water. If we don't find a better way to disburse our sewage, we will find ourselves in a losing cycle that will eventually lead to serious problems

New technology is needed for the treatment and discharge of sewage. Those pipes that allow industrial sewage of unknown content must be immediately plugged at their outlets. We can win this war against water pollution, but not without first addressing the problem and finding new solutions.


Anonymous said...

Heavy metals of concern in our watershed are primarily lead, cadmium, zinc, arsenic. Contrary to your comments, most of these trace or heavy metals are results of past mining and processing in the Silver Valley, not natural erosion.
Also must clarify that these metals do not filter down to "bedrock" in the bottom of Lake CDA. They are deposited as a well defined layer of sediment at or near the top of the lake bottom where, depending on oxygen levels in the deep waters, these metals can migrate back into solution in the water column. This chemical process is why management of the lake's water quality, specifically oxygen levels,is critical.

Bay Views said...

Anonymous writes a rebutle to my post, citing that "Heavy Metals" do travel, and travel quickly. My reply to this individual that can't find the bravery to identify him/herself is simply this.

"Heavy Metals" as I most carefully defined, are those elements that are more dense than their surroundings. If it is more dense/heavier, than the water that it is in, then logic suggests that this stuff doesn't just float merrily down stream like so much flotsam.

This is where the great lie resides.