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Wisdom On The Big Hole River

The town of Wisdom on the Upper Big Hole River is trying to raise money to move its sewage lagoons out of the river floodplain to higher ground on State of Montana land. This as a result of an order from Dept. of Environmental Quality to improve their municipal sewage system. Below Wisdom the Big Hole flows some 180 river miles down to its confluence with the Beaverhead River at Twin Bridges. Within that reach are the town’s and the Butte municipal water supply intake and great reaches of trout stream unrivaled in the nation.

When sewage lagoons become overloaded or wash out in flood events, raw or inadequately treated sewage flows into the river. It contains bacteria, viruses, fecal material, toilet paper, tampon applicators, untreated wastes, oxygen-depleting substances and other toxic material. The pathogens in contaminated waters can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, dysentery and hepatitis. The hazard is greatest to children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. It is in the interest of all of us to pool our resources and help Wisdom in this effort to relocate its sewage lagoons out of the floodplain onto higher ground. Please write to Senators Baucus and Burns, and Congressman Dennis Rehberg to encourage them to seek federal funding for Wisdom’s effort. ~

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304 N 18th Avenue • Bozeman MT 59715 • Phone: 406-587-9181
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