Friday, August 7, 2015
Who would believe that a city could charge admission to view one of the most toxic pools of water in the world? :-D When the mine, which was active from 1955 until 1982, closed the pumps that kept the pit dry were turned off. As the level of water rose it became obvious that it would eventually reach the ground water level and pollute the drinking water ( more than it is now) and streams. A new pump and treatment plant were built to keep it below that level. The water and ground around the pool is devoid of life due to a concentration of sulfuric acid, copper, iron, arsenic, cadmium, and zinc. A horn, installed after a flock of 342 geese died in 1995 when they landed on the pool, blasts if birds fly too close to the surface of the water. The pool is one mile long by a half mile wide and over 1700 feet deep.
Admission ($2.00) is paid at the gift shop. A short tunnel leads to the viewing deck where there are large signs with information on the history of the city, mining and cleanup efforts.
The gift shop has a ramp but an employee must open open a gate so that visitors in wheelchairs can gain access to the tunnel. Viewing of the pit is pretty good. The signs are at an angle that makes them hard to read from a seated position.
The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Pit