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MEADOW VISTA, CALIF. – Placer County’s Meadow Vista Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) will hear a presentation on a proposed project to remove sediment and mercury from Combie Reservoir. Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Assistant General Manager Tim Crough will make the presentation at the MAC’s regular meeting on March 5, 2009. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Placer Hills School, Rm. 22, 16801 Placer Hills Rd., in Meadow Vista. The public is encouraged to attend. 

The proposed pilot project is to remove Gold Rush-era mercury from the upper reaches of Combie Reservoir, which NID uses for water storage. The mercury removal is part of a project to remove sediment buildup that is reducing the reservoir’s water capacity.  

For decades, Combie Reservoir was dredged seasonally to remove sediment deposited by storms. That practice was stopped in 2003 when mercury concentrations in excess of state regulations were detected in the dredge material. Since that stoppage, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 tons of material has been deposited in the northeastern end of the reservoir. 

Mercury was used extensively by Gold Rush miners to extract gold from the Sierra Foothills. Some of that mercury is now deposited in soils and gravels throughout the region.   

For more information, contact NID at (530) 273-6185, or contact Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery’s office at 530-889-4010. Montgomery’s district includes the Meadow Vista area and part of Combie Reservoir.

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