Gallatin River Waste Water Leak - What We Know – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Gallatin River Waste Water Leak - What We Know

As you may or may not have heard, there has been a leak of waste water from a treatment pond into the Gallatin River. The water, which is from the Yellowstone Club is actually leaking into Second Yellow Mule Creek which flows into the West Fork of the Gallatin and ultimately into the main Gallatin. Up high at the confluence the water is a turbid brown, but as it flows down the through the canyon and valley it is dispersing enough to become green. As far as damage or long lasting affects goes it’s too early to tell. Preliminary tests have shown that levels are not high enough to cause concern to humans. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has said it won’t know until next week whether the high sediment content will have an adverse affect on aquatic life. Here’s kind of a highlight of what we know.

* – As of this morning (3/6/16) the leak is on going.

* – The waste water, which being highly diluted, has reached the confluence of the East Gallatin.

* – Due the ice on the ponds the leak may not be stopped until the pond has fully drained.

* – The leak is from a ruptured pipe not a failed levee.

* – Early tests show a Nitrogen content of 7 milligrams per liter, which is lower than the 10 milligrams per liter that trigger human health concerns.

* – The water, while not fully treated, has already been partially treated and is not fresh waste.

* – The brown coloration is coming from the turbidity of the water picking up soil and other debris.

Check the local news for more information: KBZK or Bozeman Daily Chronical.