Each spring, butte-silver bow staff inventory sites to determine maintenance tasks for the year including garbage collection, fence repair and sign replacement in addition to routine o&m, objective consultants evaluate the success of the remedy and provide recommendations for improving vegetative cover and minimizing erosion's effects on land. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of butte-silver bow, encompassing 717 square miles decline & stabilization the berkeley pit operated until 1982, when increasing costs and low copper prices resulted in a full shutdown. Along the banks of the silver bow, cattle bones turned an almost neon blue-green from high levels of copper in the water since i can remember, people have always said, 'don't go near silver bow creek,' said ellen crain, director of the butte silver bow public archives, which chronicles the mining history here.
The groundwater extraction system supports remedial goals by capturing groundwater prior to discharge to a nearby river formation applies modflow and modpath to evaluate the hydrologic effects of nearby ponds on the efficiency of the groundwater extraction system. While the first metal mining was for gold and silver, the real mineral wealth of montana was found it its copper mines around butte butte began as a mining town in the 19th century in the silver bow creek valley, a natural bowl sitting high in the rockies straddling the continental divide. Silver bow creek empties into the clark fork river where contaminated water flows all the way to missoula uptake into the biosphere plants, animals, and humans can be exposed to the metals from coming in contact with or ingesting effected soil, surface water, or groundwater, or inhaling contaminated air. Silver bow creek under this classification, the state's goal is for the stream to support drinking water, aquatic life and all other uses therefore, tmdls will be written for all metals impairment causes that impair any potential designated use: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc.
Copper was the principal metal produced, although other metals were also extracted, including silver and gold  two communities and much of butte's previously crowded east side were consumed by land purchases to expand the pit. The deq's current decision that would not allow hecla to develop the rock creek and montanore silver and copper projects in lincoln and sanders counties is a huge blow to an area of the treasure. Discovery of gold and silver brings settlers to region the area surrounding butte's present location remained uninhabited before gold was discovered in 1864 in silver bow creek. In connection with the original portion of the silver bow creek / butte area national priorities list (npl) site, the milltown reservoir sediments npl site (now referred to as the milltown reservoir/clark fork river npl site), and the anaconda smelter npl site.
Document number c01-tmdl-05af final - silver bow creek and clark fork river metals tmdls may 2014 steve bullock, governor tracy stone-manning, director deq. Butte's silver bow creek is the headwaters of the clark fork of the columbia river the creek has been heavily impacted by mining since 1841 when gold was discovered, by 1875 silver and copper were mined and smelted in butte and by 1881 five railroads serviced the area. The cleanup of silver bow creek has been ongoing since 1999 as part of a superfund remedial action being coordinated by the montana department of environmental quality (deq) in consultation with the us.
Into silver bow creek, the headwaters of the clark fork and columbia rivers as a result, toxic levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, and other hazardous. Silver bow creek, historically originated near the continental divide near what is now known as the yankee-doodle tailings and berkley pit mining activities channelized and manipulated the creek to serve as a conduit of waste from both private and public. Numerous flood events have washed tailings and mine waste into the floodplain of silver bow creek near butte, montana, resulting in degradation of water quality and impairment of the riparian zone restoration activities along a 35-km section of silver bow creek were initiated in 1999 and are currently ongoing. Silver bow creek site and renamed the site silver bow creek/butte area status (july 22, 1987): following analysis of the comments received, epa added the butte area to the general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see.
By 1864 they were successfully working the placer deposits of the creek that wrapped around the relatively insignificant hill and the steeper knob to the west the curve of the creek, shining in the afternoon sun, gave the place a name, silver bow, the knob became big butte. Silver bow begins bouncing back thanks to state and federal remediation, this butte-area stream is showing hints of its cutthroat trout fishing potential by tom dickson this story is featured in montana outdoors september-october 2012 issue for decades, no fish could survive in silver bow creek, one of montana's most toxic streams. Extensive deposition of mining wastes in the silver bow creek and clark fork channels and flood plains had substantial effects on water quality federal superfund remediation activities in the upper clark fork basin began in 1983 and have included substantial remediation near butte and removal of the former milltown dam near missoula.
Tmdl is provided below the outlet from warm springs ponds and is independent of the tmdl provided for silver bow creek at opportunity (above warm springs ponds) 1996 copper copper tmdl. The creek, between where it meets copper creek in butte and warm springs ponds northeast of anaconda, has been contaminated with a variety of wastes received from industrial, agricultural, and municipal activities for over 100 years. Nowhere have montana trout had it worse than in silver bow creek and the clark fork river downstream from the butte and anaconda copper mines and smelters as early as 1891, the us fish commission reported it did not find any fish whatever when netting the clark fork in the deer lodge area.
Silver bow creek is a 26-mile-long (42 km) headwater stream of the clark fork (river) originating within the city limits of butte, montana, from the confluence of little basin and blacktail creeks. Between 1918 and 1920, warm springs ponds 1 and 2 were constructed on silver bow creek above the confluence of silver bow creek with its two principal tributaries, warm springs creek and mill-willow creek. The heavy metal effect milltown dam warm spring creek silver bow creek heavy metals warm springs and silver bow creek what are the creeks silver bow creek extends 23 miles outside of butte into warm spring.