BOISE, Idaho — People rafting Idaho's Salmon River this summer will need to find an alternative way to dispose of their waste after officials have discontinued the longstanding disposal method.
The machines that disposed of human waste were previously placed in Riggins and near North Fork so floaters could empty their portable toilet systems after rafting trips, the Idaho Statesman reported Monday.
A service station notified the Salmon River Ranger District last summer that it would no longer operate the machine. Then late last year, the city of Riggins informed the U.S. Forest Service officials that it would not accept the flow of waste from the machines into its sewer system, citing the many problematic foreign objects among the waste like wipes and disposable diapers.
The Forest Service requires floaters to pack out their human waste on river trips. About 10,000 people are expected to float the river this summer.
"We just have to tell people that we don't have an option for them this year," Jeremy Harris said with the Salmon River Ranger District.
The floaters will have to find their own disposal method for the upcoming season, but officials are looking for a solution for next year, Harris said.
Forest Service officials are considering relocating the dump site to the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area near Riggins. They're also planning to purchase a disposal machine. The waste would be pumped out by a truck and taken to a different wastewater facility.
The lacking waste disposal options may create other problems for this summer, managing partner of Orange Torpedo river trips Eric Weiseth said.
"This is going to be a really, really tough deal for the boating community," Weiseth said. "We could see people dumping their waste in pit toilets or throwing it in a dumpster in Riggins where it's going to fester in 115 degree heat. It could be really nasty."