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Berkeley Pit, Lake Most 'Deadly' in the United States

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From a distance the lake surface in Butte, Montana looks dark blue with calm waters, beautiful to the eye. But the color was actually only mere trick of the eye, because the murky lake water reflects the color of the sky. Berkeley Pit, the lake is known as the 'deadliest lake in the United States'. According to the Web Ecoist, the lake is well-known toxic. Actually, Berkeley Pit not even lake. Berkeley Pit is actually the remains of the mine which holds 40 billion gallons of acidic water and toxic chemicals, such as copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc and sulfuric acid.

This place was once a copper mine that was established in 1955 and operated for decades. Berkeley Pit is one of the largest pits in the country, and one of the few toxic lakes that can be accessed by the public and became a tourist attraction. Only by paying two dollars visitors can see a hole full of water inundated the heavy metals. Even the nearby established a shop selling souvenirs and goods to visitors.

Was the level of pollution in the lake is not so considered by the government and local communities. Then in 1995, a flock of migrating snow geese being landed in the Berkeley Pit and get stuck there because of the storm. By the time the storm passed, 342 geese dead, resulting in the authorities took the initiative to test the toxicity of the lake waters. It was only known to the high levels of pollution in the water there.

However, more worrying than that is the fact that the water level continues to rise in the Berkeley Pit. If it reaches a critical point, it is feared that water would contaminate ground water around Butte consumed by more than 30,000 people. To ensure that does not happen, a water treatment plant was built to pump and treat water for use in the Berkeley Pit mining operations nearby.


Last changed: Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 7:22 pm

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