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WASH STATION PRESENTATION 10-2-13 LMS

Lemhi Count Weed Superintendent Jeremy Varley gave the Salmon City Council a photographic tour of the new Lemhi Cooperative Weed Management Area, Weed Wash Station.

Varley emphasized the purpose of the facility is to remove noxious weed seeds from vehicles, not to compete with local car wash businesses. The Weed Wash facility is located off Airport Road north of the Forest Service Helitac Base,

He told the October 2nd meeting of the Salmon City Council that an estimated $300 million in land productivity is lost annually in Idaho due to effects of noxious weed invasions. Nationwide the cost reaches over $7 billion. The loss to private land owners equates to $5.35 per acre which he said adds up quickly on large parcels of land. Varley said those figures show the vital need to stop the spread of Idaho’s 66 species of noxious weeds. Not included on the list are indirect costs such as loss of range land, loss of wildlife habitat and tourism.

He said that vehicles are the chief form of transportation for proliferation of weed seeds and that is the reason for the wash station.

Varley said there are no detergents or other cleaning additives in the wash water so while the blast of 550 gallons per minute at 43 pounds per square inch may blow some dirt away with the seeds it doesn’t actually clean the vehicle’s surface. The water is directed to the lower half and undercarriage of the vehicle. Used water is captured and recycled into a catch basin containing some polymers to condense the collected residue. The sediment is then transported to the landfill where it is mixed with burying materials.

Varley cautioned that the wash station is not really for ATV washing unless the user wants to get wet. He said there are signs along Airport Road directing the public to the wash station. Placement of the facility allows convenient access for Helitac Base personnel and equipment.

The fully automated weed removal wash station is open Monday through Thursday from 6AM to 4:30PM and is open until 6PM on weekends.


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