Effects Of The Silver Bow Creek Copper

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Copper is another pollutant that at very high levels is toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss of strength or, for serious exposure, cirrhosis of the liver (Pure Water Services). In order for copper to metabolized the heavy metal zinc is needed. Zinc helps with copper breakdown but too much zinc can cause a copper deficiency which can also cause problems such as anemia. While copper has some severe side effects there have not been any cases that are related to cancer. In most cases throughout the Silver Bow Creek copper is not thought to be a severe threat to the community.
Mercury is another toxic pollutant that may be found in the tailings and in the surface and ground water supplies of the Silver Bow Creek area. While mercury is
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As people began to realize the damage done by the pollution of the environment nearly fifty years had passed. By this time the contaminated tailings and toxins released from the smelters and chemical treatment facilities had reached an outrageous numbers. With the help of the great flood of 1908 these pollutants covered the Silver Bow creek banks from Butte all the way to the Milltown Dam. In 1911 the Anaconda Company began extensive cleanup efforts by implementing the use of warm springs ponds as a water treatment facility (Citizens Technical Environmental Committee, 4). These ponds were developed initially with the thought that they would be able to catch polluted tailings before they were able to reach the Clark Fork River. There was an estimated 2,400 acres of warm springs ponds built between the years of 1911 and 1959 (Citizens Technical Environmental Committee, 4). The settling ponds were created to hold the mining wastes, acting as a dam so that the metals did not end up in the Clark Fork River. The tailings are then covered over with lime to prevent them from leeching back into the environment. This series of warm springs ponds provides treatment to the water in such a way that the environment can cleanse the water of pollutants on its own instead. This treatment method is accomplished with the water being further cleansed as it is transferred from pond to pond. The
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