RIGGINS – Last summer, Gem Stop service station notified the Salmon River Ranger District that it was going to shut down the SCAT machine — a highly specialized portable toilet-cleaning machine — and the Forest Service would need to find a new location.
And then in December, even worse news came when the Forest Service met with Riggins city officials and was told that the city would no longer take the waste stream from the SCAT machine because it wasn’t compatible with the sewer system — too many foreign objects like handy wipes, beer cans and bottles, charcoal, disposable diapers, etc., were included.
So more than 10,000 private and commercial floaters who will be floating the Main Salmon (River of No Return) wilderness river trip this summer will have to find an alternative way to dispose of human waste in their portable toilets. This also will affect floaters coming off Hells Canyon river trips at Pittsburg Landing, and boaters that do the Lower Salmon River, jet back to Pittsburg Landing, and head south through Riggins.
It’s a potentially very stinky situation without an easy solution for floaters who have the typical primitive rocket box toilet systems or a 5-gallon bucket toilet system, both of which were designed to work in a SCAT machine for clean-out after a week-long trip in paradise.