During a time when most focus around water in on conservation, NID is continuing to move forward with water reclamation projects involving the removal of mercury and other heavy metals from reservoirs. Mercury, also known as quicksilver was introduced into the environment through gold mining. Mercury was used to separate gold from material removed from mine and then released into the watershed. NID General Manager, Rem Scherzinger says NID is experiencing success with removing contaminants from reservoir bottoms.
The process begins with a a self-contained vacuum dredge collecting material from the bottom of Combie Lake.
The affluent is then filtered through a coagulate that removes additional sediment which is easily removed and then the fresh water is returned to the system.
Much of the sediment is able to be separated and sorted for use in other projects. Because the unwanted sediments are treated with an organic compound, the collected material can be safely disposed of in a landfill or incorporated into other land uses.
Schezinger says once the project moves into Rollins Lake the, the process could reclaim enough area to service over 4700 homes for a year.
NID is working on multiple strategies for reclaiming water during wet and dry conditions.
Scherzinger and the board want NID customers to know that hey ware working to resolve issues while attempting to mitigate conditions for both treated and untreated water users.