Foul summer averted for Salmon River boaters

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Courtesy photo Floaters on the Salmon River, like these from Hughes River Expeditions, will have a place to dump their waste thanks to a pumping company from Lewiston that contracted to provide portable pumping services to rafting parties.

Riggins has been saved from a potential nasty situation.

According to a news release from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest, Kings Thrones & Pumping Service of Lewiston has contracted with the agency to provide portable toilet pumping services for Salmon River rafting parties.

People who float the main Salmon River east of Riggins are required to use portable toilets and pack out their waste. The Riggins SCAT machine that has been used for years by boaters to clean their toilets after they exit multiple-day river trips was shut down this summer, and a replacement isn’t expected until next year. Riggins officials feared rafters might empty their toilets in local dumpsters.

The King’s Thrones contract began Tuesday and will last through late September, according to a news release from the agency. The company will have a pump truck stationed at Shorts Bar Recreation Area about 3 miles east of Riggins.

The service will be available seven days a week from noon to 4 p.m. MDT. Pumping will be available for float and jet boat parties exiting trips on the main Salmon River, as well as those coming off adjacent rivers such as the Snake in Hells Canyon.

According to the news release, the service won’t completely sanitize toilets like SCAT machines do, but “it will provide an appropriate means for recreationists and outfitters to dispose of human waste at the end of their river trip.”

The service will not be open to recreational vehicles.

The news release advises people who use the service to add a small amount of water to their toilets after the waste is removed. Doing so will help break up remaining solid waste and ease further toilet cleaning once people return to their homes.

People also are advised not to put anything in their toilets that they wouldn’t put in a flush toilet. Items such as trash, baby wipes and feminine products are not compatible with the service.

“We are happy to be able to provide this option to our Salmon River users this summer and appreciate King’s Thrones & Pumping Services for working with us to provide the services,” said Jeremy Harris, recreation supervisor for the Salmon River Ranger District. “This is a temporary solution to the end of the SCAT machine agreement, and we will continue our efforts to provide long-term services near Riggins in the future.”

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Eric Barker may be contacted at or at 208-848-2273. Follow him on Twitter @ezebarker.

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