Monday, February 04, 2008

Montana dam demolition

Another dam is coming down to help fish, this one in Montana. This one's not only about fish, however, it's for people too.

The Milltown dam will be demolished and the Milltown Reservoir will disappear. As part of the project, the Milltown Reservoir superfund site will be cleaned up. Hopefully, all of this work will allow native fish to repopulate the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers, and it will reduce arsenic contamination in drinking water near the reservoir area.

It's a fascinating story, the history of the dam and the problems in the reservoir. Mining waste flowed downstream and contaminated sediments in the reservoir, leading to poisoned wells. The solution, remove the dam, cleanup the reservoir, and restore a natural river with native fish. Expensive, but it's great to see that we're fixing this type of problem. We broke it, and now we're fixing it.

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