While observing some of the temporary bridge construction in Soldotna a month ago, I observed one of the welders throw his spent welding rod into the Kenai River. I immediately conjured up the image of hundreds if not thousands of welding rods being cavalierly disposed of into the river during the course of this construction job. I didn't like that image at all.
I'm not a metallurgist, and I certainly don't know what ultimate effect all these pieces of metal would have on the river, but I don't think we, the citizens of the area, the citizens of the state and the tourists from all over the world should have to find out! It's one thing to lose a can of soda pop out of a boat or have the wind blow a sandwich wrapping into the river, but I think we can all agree that wholesale dumping of large volumes of trash into the river is unacceptable. That's how I look upon these welding rods.
The welder pulled his new rods out of a pouch attached to his belt. I've been told by a welder friend that similar pouches are available for the spent rods. I sure would like all of the welders to begin using the pouches for the spent rods!
If you agree with me, you can make your feelings known by calling the general contractor for the job, Wilder Construction, at 344-2593, Rushkin Construction at (800) 535-3055 or the state Department of Transportation at 262-2199.
Let's continue to do everything we possibly can to keep the Kenai River healthy.
Sherry Lewis, Kenai
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