Three million gallons of wastewater has leaked into Warm Springs Creek
Three million gallons of partially treated wastewater has leaked into Warm Springs Creek. The spill happened during upgrades to the water treatment plant at the Montana State Hospital.
Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) ordered contractors to stop their work after the leak was discovered in June.
The Montana State Hospital has a permit to release treated wastewater into the Warm Springs Creek, but Rebecca Harbage, with the DEQ, said the water released from the contractor's work violated portions of that permit.
“It did violate for pH and then it violated for total suspended solids. But things like E coli did not violate their permit limits,” Harbage said.
Harbage said there are no short-term human health effects or impacts on water quality at this time. She said the DEQ also doesn’t expect any future effects, since the leak has been stopped.
Missouri River Contractors now have until August 1 to respond to the violation and provide corrective actions, before any construction can resume.