“Water is our best friend and our worst enemy,” Gold Rush star Chris Doumitt explained in a recent episode.
In order for the Gold Rush stars to run their operations, they need water to help sort out the gold remnants within the paydirt. At most operations in Canada, miners use water for their sluices which help filter out everything from huge rocks to tiny pieces of silt in the dirt patches. However, too much water can be detrimental to their businesses, as the excess liquid can actually push gold out the back of the machine along with the rest of the paydirt, potentially costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This was precisely the situation that Doumitt ran into at Gold Rush mine boss Parker Schnabel’s operation. In order to fix the situation, Doumitt needed to reduce the water pressure. But this was much harder than just turning a dial. As Doumitt soon found out, the pump at the site couldn’t run any slower than it already was because the pump was level with the washplant. Usually, the pump has to work much harder against uphill terrain, but because it was on flat ground, more water was pushing much faster into the operation.
So, Doumitt had to come up with a creative solution of his own.
‘Gold Rush’ Star Enlists Help of Co-Worker Mitch Blashke
Sensing that the problem was too big for just one Gold Rush star, Doumitt called in Mitch Blashke to help him fix the problem. That’s when Blashke came up with the idea to block off four of the openings in the washplant to help create pressure in the pipes. As he did so, Blashke knew he had to be careful, as too little water would clog the system full of mud and prevent the gold flakes from reaching the carpet at the bottom. Meanwhile, Doumitt opened the bypass valve which redirected water out of the washplant and into the settling pond.
Three hours and $12,000 later, the Gold Rush duo agreed that the washplant seemed to be operating much more efficiently – until the bypass valve broke free and started spraying like an unmanned firehose.
The team then added Tyson Lee to the mix, who managed to create a solution for the safety hazard. Lee threaded the valve through a large pipe and then buried it all under excess dirt. Finally, the sluice was back on track. Doumitt even awarded Lee with a cigar and a “Good boy.”
At the gold pour, the Gold Rush team was pleasantly surprised when the scale reached 337.45 ounces, amounting to over $600,000. Given how much time they had to take off to fix the washplant, this was nothing short of an impressive haul.