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Poland Mine/Poland Walker Tunnel


Bradshaw Mountains, approximately 12 miles southeast of Prescott, near Breezy Pine community, Yavapai County

Date Discovered:

March 9, 2010

Impaired Surface Waterbody:

Big Bug Creek

Surface Water Quality Exceedances for Designated Uses:

  • Lead (full body contact)
  • Cadmium (aquatic and wildlife, coldwater)
  • Zinc (aquatic and wildlife, coldwater)

Affected Media:

  • Surface Water

What Are My Health Risks?

For Surface Water | Surface water quality standards are established to provide protection for a waterbody’s designated use(s) | Learn more >

ADEQ and Arizona Game and Fish Department jointly publish fish consumption advisories | Learn More >

For Soil | There is little to no health risk unless there is contact with skin or ingestion of contaminated soil

For Groundwater | If you are connected to a Public Water System (PWS) there is little to no risk of impact from exceedances because the water is filtered through the PWS for residential and business use | View Drinking Water Notices >

If you have a private well in the vicinity of the exceedance, we encourage you to test the well water. Not sure what to test for? | Learn More >

For Mining Adits/Shafts | If you encounter a mining adit or shaft, do not enter it. The Arizona State Mine Inspector conducts inspections of legacy mines and implements safety measures | Learn more >

Site Summary:

  • Site was mined intermittently from the late 1800s until approximately 1930
  • Confirmation sampling completed in 2017 and 2018 showed that excess metals are being introduced into Big Bug Creek by the tunnel discharge and storm water runoff
  • ADEQ and site owner completed access agreement in 2018
  • Site Assessment completed by ADEQ contractor in 2019
  • Cooperative Agreement with United States Forest Service (USFS), allowing ADEQ to remediate the portion of the site on federal lands, was completed in November 2020
  • Waste rock piles and tailings on USFS side of Poland Mine were remediated in winter 2021
  • Site characterization and sampling for the discharging Poland-Walker Tunnel on private land is ongoing