"Flooding Spiked Lead Levels in Lake Coeur d'Alene"

"An estimated 352,000 pounds of lead washed into Lake Coeur d'Alene on Jan. 18 after flooding related to a rain-on-snow event.

That's the weight equivalent of 70 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups – and the highest volume of lead recorded in a 24-hour period since major flooding in February 1996.

Greg Clark, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist, attributed high lead concentrations to a rapid rise in the Coeur d'Alene River caused by pounding rains and melting snow. At Harrison, where the river empties into Lake Coeur d'Alene, the Jan. 18 flows averaged 19,000 cubic feet per second. ...

The lead is the legacy of 140 years of hard-rock mining in the Coeur d'Alene River's headwaters."

Becky Kramer Spokane Spokesman-Review March 24, 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011