Watershed Remediation and Monitoring Address Mining Impacts

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area, which covers about 26 miles of stream and streamside habitat, as a Superfund site in 1983. The soil, groundwater, and surface water at this site are impacted with heavy metals due to a history of mining crews dumping wastes from nearby operations into the area’s streams and wetlands, beginning in the late 1800s. A confidential client hired TREC, a Woodard & Curran company, to design and prepare the surface- and groundwater-monitoring program at the Superfund site as well as in the adjacent municipality and perform data collection, database management, data interpretation, and reporting.

Innovative stormwater management and groundwater treatment practices

The remedial alternatives Woodard & Curran developed included innovative stormwater management practices designed to limit access or impacts to receiving waters, wetland treatment lagoons to address contaminated groundwater, and waste management remedies that would provide the protection of human health, the environment, and land reuse. TREC is in a key role assisting the client in negotiating the terms of the ultimate operation and maintenance of the selected remedies.

Cleanup work at the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit (BPSOU) has been ongoing since the 1980s. In recent years of this complex project, TREC developed several strategic best management practices. The resulting water quality in the nearby receiving stream saw significant improvements to near-target levels during normal base flow conditions.

To manage the significant amounts of data generated at this site over decades of remedial work, Woodard & Curran designed a large database that stores historic data and manages the database for the ongoing data collection work for both groundwater and surface water (base-flow and storm-flow events). The project team customized much of the data import and export routines to limit excessive handling of the information. In addition, the team designed customized access to the database for a wide variety of data users—ranging from technical experts to the public.

Details

Confidential Client
Butte, MT

Team

Senior Project Manager
TREC, a Woodard & Curran company
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