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Temporary rafting sanitation fix planned ‘very soon’

When a poop is found anywhere unexpected, the poop is not to blame.

When Salmon River rafting season peaks near Riggins later this summer, in lieu of a decades-old system for putting poop in its place, the Forest Service has a plan to contract with a sanitation services provider to have a septic pump truck stationed near Shorts Bar.

“We do plan to offer this service this summer and hope to have it set up very soon,” Salmon River District Ranger Jeff Shinn told the Free Press June 25. “We have not yet finalized the contract so we have not yet released the name of the contractor. We plan to issue a press release as soon as the details are finalized.”

A final contract is anticipated by July 1.

The need follows from problems with Forest Service equipment the Gem Stop service station had hosted for years.

A more permanent fix could be similar to the facility Middle Fork Salmon River boaters use, known as a SCAT machine — which is what Gem Stop had hosted. For now, the only one in Salmon River country is located at Newland, near North Fork, which is on Forest Service land managed by the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Unlike recent years, boaters won’t have access to a Forest Service SCAT machine in Riggins this summer.

In April, the Idaho Statesman reported Forest Service officials are looking at placing a SCAT machine at the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area property in the south part of Riggins. The Statesman also first reported that during the summer of 2017, Gem Stop notified the Salmon River Ranger District that it was going to shut down the portable toilet cleaning machine.

The City of Riggins wants to make sure its water treatment system can accommodate its output.

“The City is hoping to meet with the Forest Service in the near future to discuss the design of a new SCAT machine,” Riggins clerk Brenda Tilley told the Free Press June 20. “The City would like to have input into the design with the hope of being able to accept the material in our wastewater treatment plant.”

“There were a number of concerns in the past with foreign objects and the condition of the waste that caused problems with our treatment plant,” Tilley explained. “The City would like to work with the Forest Service to make this a win-win for everyone.”


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