GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016
Paper No. 8-7
Presentation Time: 9:55 AM
HOW COULD THE GOLD KING MINE WATER BE PASSIVELY TREATED?
GUSEK, James J., Sovereign Consulting Inc., 12687 W. Cedar Dr, Suite 305, LAKEWOOD, CO 80228, email@example.com
The images of the August 2015 blowout of the Gold King mine pool above Silverton were dramatic. The chemical treatment measure that was implemented is expensive and is certainly temporary; clearly, the thought of addressing this situation in-perpetuity with active treatment is unacceptable on a number of levels. Implementing low-tech passive treatment techniques (aka constructed wetlands), coupled with innovative source control technologies are the first logical step on a “pathway to walk away” for this site and perhaps others in the Animas River Basin. This paper examines several logical concepts for passively treating Gold King Mine discharge using processes developed by Mother Nature herself.
While passive treatment systems are viewed as a low-cost and low maintenance, they are not maintenance-free despite the evidence that natural analogues have been functioning in Colorado for millennia without human intervention. Still, they are a logical, natural, and cost-efficient alternative to chemical treatment forever.