August 9, 2022 

Water and Arsenic: which came first?


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 By Dave I.

07/31/2009  5:59PM

I'm not sure that Alleghany is an incorporated municipality, but should it be, the community would have development rights to establish public infrastructure to meet service prospective demand such as hydro electric power. Public water service, and waste disposal. See Constitution Statement below.


SEC. 9. (a) A municipal corporation may establish, purchase, and
operate public works to furnish its inhabitants with light, water,
power, heat, transportation, or means of communication. It may
furnish those services outside its boundaries, except within another
municipal corporation which furnishes the same service and does not
(b) Persons or corporations may establish and operate works for
supplying those services upon conditions and under regulations that
the city may prescribe under its organic law.
 By bluejay

05/15/2009  11:26PM


It sounds that the Water Board is just like so many other government agencies, full of ignorance and leaning towards complete stupidity. Or, is it about white envelopes being exchanged under tables???

Check out the website tonight concerning a major newspaper in London running the headline, Geithner Enriches Speculators In "Sham Bank" Bail-Outs and the enjoining article.

The deeper you dig the messier it gets.
 By Rick

05/14/2009  10:18PM

The original initial entry under this topic was written by me, a few years ago, when the CRWQCB demanded of the Original Sixteen to One Mine that the naturally occuring element arsenopyrite stop exisiting in the water.

Arsenopyrite is the naturally occuring element in the geology of the Allegany Ridge, with a principal element arsenic. CRWQCB stands for California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Many of us testified in Sacramento in front of that board, and personally I suggested that they "dip their own mugs into the effluent waters from the downtown rail-yard where arsenic levels were 25,000 time higher than their mandate of 50ppb" hich they demanded the mine establish in a pristine environment of naturally occuring levels...."hile the man-made occurance of arsenic in the rail-yard remained un-assaulted by the very board demanding the impossible" from where the Original Sixteen to One is located....

[This was happening the same time the CDAA was also assaulting the mine. A full court press, reminiscent of the current administration's intolerance of freedom.]

My time in front of the CRWQB was limited to a minute. I made my point: the arsenic in Allegany is natural, upstream and downstream; also to go "dip your mugs" where it is not.

Summarily dismissed. No response. They could give an S.

I implore all of you reading this forum entry to back-track to the origins of the topic title, which will be at the very bottom, the original writing.

BTW, they don't care about the water. They only care about buying votes.
 By Rick

05/10/2009  8:42PM

Been on my radar screen for years....
 By bluejay

05/10/2009  4:29PM

Any regular source of income for the Company is a step in the right direction. One thing that has amazed me from historical readings of the Alleghany Mining District was that miners lacked the planning for the time expense between discoveries with financial reserves.

Once profitable deposits are located and mined one might suspect that it could easily develop into expensive celebrating and parties and a time to pay off debt but wouldn't it be better to not have debt at all and do some serious planning with the extra revenue?

Planning for the future and taking steps to insure that probabilities favor mining companies in the District appears the right approach.

Following up with the planning and the commencement of hydropower production on our property has another advantage. Once we become self sufficent with renewable energy we will be joining the world's green investment family with some improved PR status.

Companhia Vale Do Rio Dove, Vale for short, the world's second largest mining company in Brazil has formed a separate subsidiary for the development of renewable energy. The whole country of Brazil is involved in a massive renewable energy rollout.

Another thought aside from hearing that wine has been stored in the mine, would be for using or selling the mine space for safety to exist in the event of a nuclear fallout or a massive eruption from Yellowstone. As long as the water keeps flowing assuming that we will be running a hydroplant plant, the mine could be used for living quarters and growing food. In the event of such a catastrophe green could turn into another form of gold for shareholders as the unused mine tunnels could turn into quite a valuable asset.

Bringing up the possibility of disaster may not be popular but it is just part of rational planning.
 By Michael Miller

05/07/2009  8:51AM

As promised, here's Ron's report. The original has many beautiful and purposeful pictures. Unable to post photos on FORUM.
Hydropower Pre-feasibility Study

Prepared for Original Sixteen to One Mine, INC

February 2009
Prepared by RON OTT


This pre-feasibility investigation was conducted to determine if waterpower could be used to generate environmentally clean energy that would offset the amount of energy and thus cost provided to the Sixteen to One Mine (16 to 1) via Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Sources and amounts of water available for hydropower generation were measured (Flow). The available water drop or pressure head (Head) was estimated from topographic maps. Amounts of energy that could be generated were estimated and amounts of energy and cost that the mine uses was estimated to determine the potential cost savings. Estimates were then made on the cost of the project and finally the contract and interconnection requirements were instigated with PG&E.

Flows were measured at the Main Spring four times over the course of the year using a 5 gallon bucket and stop watch. The combined flows of the white and black pipes as they entered the collection tank follow:

Date Flow (cubic feet per Second –cfs)
9/21/07 0.21
2/8/2008 0.28
3/21/2008 0.20
11/26/2008 0.25
Average 0.24 cfs

Flows were also estimated and measured from other springs and seeps in the area around the Main Spring. Theses estimated follows are shown in the table below.

Date Gold Crown Culvert Gold Crown Upper Pond Lower Dam Spring Culvert
9/21/2007 0.13 0.28 0.13
2/8/2008 0.10 0.22 0.10
3/21/2008 0.14 0.31 0.14
11/26/2008 0.11 0.23 0.11
Average 0.12 0.26 0.12.

Flow summary:
Main Spring 0.24 cfs
Other springs and seeps 0.50 cfs
Total: 0.74 cfs

The available pressure head was calculated as the difference in the water surface elevation where the water enters the penstock and the centerline elevation of the nozzle at the turbine. Then the friction loss in the penstock was subtracted.

Using elevations from topographic maps, altimeters, and Google Earth, the upstream water surface at the spring was estimated at elevation 4,420 feet and the elevation of the nozzle at the power house would be 3,804 feet. The difference or gross head is approximately 616 feet.

To determine the approximate friction loss in the 2,400 foot penstock, the penstock was assumed to be 8 inches in diameter and made of steel. With a flow of 1 cfs the head loss in the penstock would be approximately 15 feet.

Therefore, the Net Head available to the turbine is approximately 600 feet.

The power kW (kilowatts) available from any flow and net head combination can be calculated by:

kW = (Q * H / 11.815 )(Eff)

kW = kilowatts (kW)
Q = Flow (cfs)
H = Net Head (feet)
11.815 = conversion factor
Eff = overall efficiency from water to power at the meter (assumed 85%)

The following table gives examples of the approximate energy that could be produced with various size turbines that ran year round (assume 5 % down time for maintenance):

Water Source Flow (cfs) kW kWhrs/Year
Main Spring only 0.24 11.3 94,000
All springs and seeps 0.74 31.9 266,000
If full water right developed* 1.0 43.2 360,000
* It would most likely require storage to utilize the full water right of 1 cfs

In June 2008, 16:1 and PG&E executed a 20 year “Small Renewable Generator Power Purchase Agreement” for PG&E to purchase power from 16:1. The maximum rate to PG&E cannot exceed 50 kW and the generated power would be used to offset the power requirements of the Mine first. Any access power that the mine does not use would be purchased by PG&E at $0.0967/kWhr in 2009 escalating to $0.119/kWhr in 2020. There are factors used to adjust these rates daily depending on the season and time of day. They range from 2.037 for super peak in the summer down to .656 for night in the spring months.

In the summer 2006 the mine purchased power from PG&E at the following rates:

Summer 2006 $/kWhr Total Cost for 2006 year
Peak 0.31618 $8,906
Partial Peak 0.15738 $14,021
Off-Peak 0.09511 $11,279
Total $34,206

The optimum operation strategy would be to store the water in a small reservoir and run the hydroplant at full capacity to offset the super peak and peak energy purchases from PG&E.
If the hydroplant is run with little mining operations and no storage reservoir, the maximum revenue generated from PG&E would be approximately:

Water Source Revenue $/year
Main Spring only $9,000
All springs and seeps $27,000
If full water right developed $36,000

Given varying mine energy requirements, an operations study should be conducted to determine the size of reservoir in order to optimize the revenue.
The major cost to the project will be the penstock and the turbine. Two preliminary budget estimates were received. One United States and one overseas manufacture. Both were around $50,000 for the turbine, switchgear, and spare parts.

A price quote was received from Normac, Inc of Rancho Cordova for 2400 feet of 8” to 4” HDPE pipe. The quote for the pipe and fittings was $58,000.

Total Estimated cost for the Project is shown in the follow table:

Item Cost $
Diversion and water collections structure $10,000
Penstock HDPE pipe , 2400 feet $58,000
Penstock installation and restraints $10,000
Turbine and Switchgear $50,000
Powerhouse construction $15,000
Electrical to connection point $5,000
PG&E requirements for hookup $10,000
Misc. equipment and fittings $5,000
Total estimate $163,000


1. Get interconnection study completed by PG&E. This will determine the cost of any special facilities or insurance required to connect
2. Survey the project to determine elevations, lengths and alignment
3. Look into spring development
4. Run optimization study to determine size and location of small reservoir in concert with future mining operations and size of turbine
5. Prepare conceptual drawings
6. Prepare final feasibility study
7. Obtain exemption from FERC
8. Obtain final quotes and schedule of equipment
9. Order equipment
10. Construction
11. Install new PG&E meter
12. Register Project with the Western Region Electricity Generation Information System (WREGIS)
13. Test facility and commence operation.
 By Michael Miller

05/06/2009  12:58PM

To Oakrockranch: I forgot... you have the Golden- Royal underground tour on your next visit to Alleghany. You'll love it.
 By Michael Miller

05/06/2009  12:46PM

What a surprise I just got from Oakrockranch. It's your comments and the gift of your thoughts, which are of value. I was just hoping for a fresh idea!
Ron Ott's report arrived by email, which I will somehow get into this topic. I mirror emf with a sincere thank you. Running this old gold mine can get emotional now.
 By emf

05/06/2009  11:49AM

GOOD FOR YOU OakRockRanch and a sincere THANK YOU on behalf of all the shareholders!
 By oakrockranch

05/06/2009  10:11AM

Hey Mike - I'll send you $500 with the hopes you can get this idea pushed further down the road and off the ground someday. As you know I'm not a shareholder, but truly admire your wisdom, passion, commitment and tenacity. My interests are simply human, with the belief that something grand will come of your efforts. Maybe I'll even get a chance for a tour of the underground operations the next time I visit. All the best!
 By Michael Miller

05/04/2009  2:50PM

For years we talked about utilizing the waterpower from our spring to generate power for the mine. Two years ago Ron Ott, a shareholder spoke up and offered to lead the application through PG&E, our electricity provider. In 2007 and 2008 we accomplished a record of water flow throughout the year, calculated the cost and revenue, agreed to a purchase contract with PG&E and prepared the final document to PG&E. Oops, it required a $500 fee, which is not in our budget.

PG&E said today it couldn’t wave the fee due to FERC language. I asked about any grants or other sources to fund its review process. Some ideas may be forthcoming but no promises. Do any of you know of organizations that cry for green power and will put some money where their mouth is? This mine deserves some help. We are pro conservation and have been long before it became a battle cry throughout America.

I asked Ron to email me his analysis, which will be posted here once it arrives. Our citizens need to support domestic productivity from all sources. From grain to grapes to nickel, copper, oil, timber and gold, domestic production raises our assets. It also increases our security in these uncertain times. Finally, America cannot lose its basic or fundamental blue-collar industries. The Sixteen to One can help these causes as a leader in its field..

The total estimated cost for the Project is $163,000. The revenue generated (or saved) is approximately $36,000 a year. In June 2008, the PG&E and mine executed a 20-year “Small Renewable Generator Power Purchase Agreement” to purchase power from the Sixteen to One. The Project calls for a modified Pelton Wheel turbine. Interestingly, we have the historic number 01 Pelton Wheel still in place on our property where it was used to power our underground miners. How great an historical lesson to generate power once again. Mr. Pelton lived in Camptonville, about twenty-five southwest of Alleghany.

01/06/2009  12:46PM

How about this article in the Sacramento Bee!!
January 3, 2009
Headline: “Kern inmates forced to use tainted water”.

Here’s the scoop. Kern Valley State Prison opened in 2005 with local water registering higher in arsenic than the new federal limits. The government shelved a $629,000 filtration system and did not notify the staff and inmates. “Its not that major of an issue,” said Kelly Harrington, the prison’s new warden. The administrators say the health hazard from arsenic (from chemicals used in industry and farming) is insignificant and they will get around to it in the next few years. The prison’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sherry Lopez, said there was no immediate danger from the lockup’s water, based on an email from a poison-control expert who said arsenic is “much more a regulatory problem than a public health problem.”

Oxygen is a poison; plain water can kill, so can chocolate, meat, vitamins A-B-D and E. It’s all about dosage, the amount and time line of ingestion. Let’s hope this new and fresh look at America and ourselves will examine the utterly false and misleading claims of arsenic, especially natural elemental arsenic as dangerous enough to waste millions of our precious dollars.
 By Rick

04/10/2004  7:58PM

As usual, Lynwood's words make important impact. (I could pontificate over theories of marketing strategies that sell someone's water to someone else, and visa versa, based on health issues and other parameteres, most likely BS angles to make people buy stuff, but in this case I won't.)

I told the CaRWQCB in my prescibed one-minute chance to "Dip one of your own mugs into the river in Sacramento, at the former Curtis Rail Yard, and drink, before you challenge the 1621 to comply within the very constraints your own political body doesn't dare adhere to" (I paraphrase, but the actual transcript of my testimony is available though access of the hearing, commented on below in a previous Forum entry.) Of course, it did nothing but make them tired.

Lynwood, I agree. In a true free/law-abiding society, there would be no pressure to change the natural ambiant levels of any indiginous mineral concentration in a water-course and therefore a water supply, unless its been mandated by the CRWQB, which in this case is the reason.

(I know you know this, but I repeat it here for new readers.)

But actually, there may be a positive, a heretofore unforeseen potential: the Original Sixteen to One Mine may become a model for new technological advances in altering nature's course, (the new installation a result of the court ruling mandating compliance of arsenic levels leaving the mine to be under natural levels)... (of course with absolutely no detectable trace impact downstream, but politics didn't care about that...)

Next thing you know, everyone's teeth'll be falling out, because we're more powerful than our creator.

Isn't that what they told us?
 By lynwood

04/09/2004  9:02PM

The following article was published in an obscure magazine, World Wide Drilling Resource in April, 2004.

Hard Water ‘Stops Heart Attacks’
Story from BBC News

Drinking hard water may protect against heart disease, researchers have claimed.
Researchers from the Geographical Survey of Finland looked at 19,000 men who had suffered heart attacks.
They found for every unit increase in water hardness, there was a 1% decrease in the risk of having a further attack.
Writing in the journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the researchers said the findings explained regional variations in heart attack rates.
They said the differences of up to 40% between areas could not be explained solely by lifestyle or genetic factors.
Mineral levels
The team looked at men aged between 35 and 74, who had had an initial heart attack in the years 1983, 1988, and 1993. They also examined national geological survey data on water hardness and trace elements, divided up into 10 by 10 kilometer grids.
Professor Jeremy Pearson, British Heart Foundation said, “It is not implausible that water hardness might affect disease rates.”
Hard water is any water, which contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals. The researchers looked at measurement levels of calcium, magnesium, fluoride, iron, copper, zinc, nitrate and aluminum from almost 12500 groundwater samples.
They suggest higher fluoride levels were protective, with every one milligram of fluoride per liter of household drinking water was associated with a 3% decrease in the risk of a heart attack.
But for every microgram of iron per liter, risk increased by an average of 4%, and for every microgram of copper per liter of water, it increased by 10%.
Writing in the Journal of epidemiology and Community Health, the researchers, led by Dr. Anne Kousa, said, “The large geographical variations and changes in the incidence of heart attacks in Finland cannot be explained by individual lifestyle or genetic factors alone. Environmental exposures must also contribute to the development of the disease.”
Small effect
Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, told BBC News Online: “There have been several studies going back more than 35 years examining the relationship between incidence of coronary heart disease and hardness of local water supplies, with inconsistent results.
“It is not implausible that water hardness might affect disease rates, since it relates to the levels of trace elements that may be important for nutrition. However, the contribution of drinking water to the total intake of these elements is usually low.”
He added: “This study concludes that the incidence of acute myocardial infarction is significantly lower in areas of the country where water is harder.
“However, it is clear that any effect that there might be is small by comparison with the well-known major risk factors, such as poor diet, physical inactivity, smoking and high alcohol intake.” END OF ARTICLE

I wonder if the sellers of bottle water are behind the misinformation about drinking water that puts fear in the minds of the mindless. Scoop reports that the mine will eliminate the low levels of dissolved arsenic (an important naturally occurring element on earth) from Kanaka Creek? The fish, plants, and insects in that drainage are as healthy as any in the California mountains. I bet the Rockies too. I say…don’t do it. Leave it alone. How can this BS be stopped? About the miners’ prayers for the old miners and their women, I like it.
 By gfxgold

07/30/2003  7:40PM

I haven't heard much lately about the ongoing battle of water quality in the sierra's. I did, however, run across a story about the EPA trying to levy fines against the city of Portland, Oregon. It's a case of the EPA seeing a problem where there is none. In fact, the city's project is trying to correct a water problem! Go to: and click on the story, "City Says EPA Forces Delays on Big Pipe Project." It shows that no matter who you are, there is always someone who wants to protect you from yourself and take your money for doing it! This time it's the taxpayer who loses by having to pay for both sides!
 By Michael Miller

04/30/2003  11:28PM

State Water Resources Control Board
April 30,2003

Gentlemen, thank you for considering our disagreement with the
Central Water Control Board. Bill Walker of Walker and Associates is more qualified than I to explain the science of water at the mine. He and four staff members have visited the site about six times. The regional staff has one or two visits in the past five years. No State staff has ever inspected the mine. Walker has affirmed and expanded the company’s position, consistently expressed to both boards since 1998. The regional staff presented its board stale data, untrue facts; broad opinions as if they were facts and lost many of the test results the company sent them.

It is always difficult for oversight boards to vary from staff recommendations. You are the leaders, unencumbered by a bureaucratic regime. I ask you to adopt the Walker recommendations for monitoring at the Sixteen to One mine. To provide you the confidence to do so, I will introduce a recent New York Times essay which was also in the Sunday Forum page of the Sacramento Bee. Its title is “Ethical Awareness for Sciences and Leadership”. The values of honesty, creativity and full disclosure are the hallmarks of good science.

Mr. Lawrence Krauss writes, “Confronting misconceptions, deliberate or not, our own or others’, is probably the single most important factor driving progress in science, and in a broader sense society. Scientists must not allow nonsense to remain unconfronted, regardless of whose sensibilities we offend. Once we allow empirical truth to be blurred with impunity in one important area of human activity, we jeopardize the very basis of a healthy democracy.” He closes with, “A democracy, like science, functions best only when all actions are open to question, and when we require the highest levels of accountability.”

The record of our application and appeal is detailed; but the water issue is not complex. The baseline charts in the Walker report could have been easily compiled by the regional board staff. The charts represent scientific proof: increased monitoring is an unreasonable burden with no public benefit. I defer to Mr. Walker. END OF ORAL PRESENTATION.

The State Water Resources Control Board ignored the Walker report and stuck to its own staff recommendations. Significant changes were made to the draconian and unscientific document prepared by the lower board and its staff. I am grateful for this; however, the State Board sidestepped a real opportunity to correct a flawed document.
 By Rick

03/24/2003  8:51PM

Having just now read the new News article from the Union, I am pleased that Mike Miller has now prevailed in awakening the CRWQCB back into reality, something that many of us have been writing about here in the Forum section for quite some time now. Pleased that due process seems to be forthcoming from those politically appointed bodies I've been railing against for the last number of years.
Go figure. Finally!

Mostly, I wonder what we as Forum contributers can do to bring our perspectives to light before an assault on freedom ever starts; in essence, to prevent it from ever happening to begin with.

Imagine: it took another expert witness in a court to substantiate what the Original Sixteen to One's own geologist was telling the CRWQCB in court almost two years ago (thanks Jason, too bad they weren't listening the first time) and somehow now the CRWQCB sees that natural elemental occurances actually effect natural water impurities.

As if the Original Sixteen to One was always lying about it, no regards to legitimate and timely reports required and delivered (thanks once again, Jason) . . . now the CRWQCB covering up its past incompetent obstructionist methodology.

But hey: they are.

I hope.

And I keep my fingers crossed, seeing all the perseverence come to fruition. If this new realistic assessment of ambient arsenic in Kananka Creek is being re-evaluated without the CRWQCD's previous stance of obstructionist politics, (looking instead at solutions as an objective--go figure) and forthcoming as actual progress, we have one more reason to applaud the fact that Truth always prevails.

Works every time it's tried.
 By Michael Miller

03/17/2003  4:43PM

Oops.....Thanks for telling me about not giving the date for the State Board meeting. It is March 19, 2003. Also the word "no" was omitted from the last message, right after the sentence, "I think it is a good idea".
 By Michael Miller

03/15/2003  11:15PM

CALIFORNIA STATE WATER BOARD will meet in Sacramento at 9am to approve, reject or modify the permit proposed by the Central Valley Regional Water Board. It calls for 1450 annual tests, ignoring the decade of monitoring performed at the mine.In the history of water laws formulated via the Porter Cologne Act and Basin Plan [Yes there are laws establishing water regulations. I think it is a good idea] company or individual has ever been called to perform 1450 annual tests because of BACKGROUND natural elements.

Rae will send you info if you can attend the meeting. A large vocal turnout could be interesting. Even if I am the only one, the facts in evidence are enough to support a contention the laws are not being carried out as the California Stat legislature intended. It is called, Legislative Intent and is gaining the recognition the electorate expects.
 By auriferous

05/19/2002  9:46PM

I thought that it would be a good idea to relate to you an excerpt of a phone conversation I had with one of the staff engineers at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

I had called at the request of the mine to try to get some information and assistance regarding the new monitoring requirements to which the 16-to-1 is now subject under their new NPDES permit.

During the course of the conversation, I asked (as I had done in front of the board) how they can justify requiring an arsenic limit that is below the background arsenic concentration of Kanaka Creek. In addition, I asked how they proposed reducing the arsenic discharge from the many abandoned mines in the watershed.

Now, there are a number of possible responses that could have been put forth by this single representative of the board. Some of them could have made sense, and some of them could have been B.S. The one that I got was downright shocking.

The response was:
It is one of the long-term goals of the regional board to eventually have every abandoned mine that is discharging water into a natural watercourse be permitted with a NPDES permit. What this means (and I asked for clarification on this) is that if anyone, from a private citizen to the federal government, owns land from which there is a discharge of water from an abandoned mine (or other point-source of pollution), that owner or some other responsible party will be required to apply for a permit to discharge. All that is necessary for this to happen is for the board to discover a mine that they didn't know about before. How do they find out? Anyone can report it to them or to any of the agencies that the board uses to perform its investigations (DFG and local law enforcement are two examples).

What are the effects of suddenly needing to file for a NPDES permit? Essentially, you will need to perform site assesments and water sampling, develop a mitigation plan to reduce or eliminate any pollutants deemed detrimental to the natural watercourse (including turbidity, taste, odor, color, floating material, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, biological oxygen demand, pH, temperature, pesticides, and any other constituents as determined by state or federal statute).

Remember, ANY ACTIVITY THAT DISCARGES WATER TO LAND, SURFACE WATER, OR GROUND WATER is subject to this permitting process.

Good luck.

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PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

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