Posted: Nov 25, 2012 4:47 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Nov 26, 2012 10:44 AM
Silver Bow Creek has made significant improvements in water quality and now it could be reclassified.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is considering reclassifying the creek.
Currently it is classified as indeterminate, or in other words it's not even classified.
Since 1983 DEQ has been cleaning the creek of tailings.
Today the creek meets water quality standards most of the time and has developed a healthy Trout population.
The creek could be classified as C-1 which means it can support self sustaining Trout fisheries.
It could also be classified as B-1, which means it can fully support drinking water.
DEQ State Project Officer Joe Griffin says, "The progress has been tremendous. The concentrations of copper and zinc and cadmium in the creek are now much, much lower. The largest inputs from groundwater were coming directly out of Butte itself. Controlling those-the more they controlled, the more we saw concentrations drop."
DEQ will have Silver Bow Creek reclassified by the end of 2013.
Reclassification is reviewed every 3 years.