Why Montana? We need gold way more than Montana does! Have they seen our rent?!
A couple in Montana have struck gold, literally, and aren’t too happy about it. Mark and Sharon Brown claim they found tiny gold flakes in their tap water. Instead of celebrating, the Whitehall couple is worried about what else could be polluting their water.
Mark recounts the first time the couple noticed something odd about their water, Sharon was doing the dishes. “She had pulled the plug to let the water out, and there were glistening, gleaming little flecks,” said Mark.
Curious to see how far this had spread, the couple went searching for more flakes. They found the flakes not only in the kitchen sink’s water but also in the toilet tank and bathroom faucets.
Whitehall is about 25 miles southeast of Butte in Jefferson County. The town gets its drinking water from two wells, one off of Division Street and another just a half block east of Whitehall Street. Both wells are right in the middle of town.
The Browns’ neighbor, Paul Harper, also saw the tiny gold nuggets in his water. Harper ran chemical tests on the bits to determine if they were really the precious metal. A special chemical will dissolve all metals except pure gold. To everyone’s surprise…the flakes didn’t melt away.
Anyone here in New York City would be so ecstatic they would be on the brink of a heart attack; this Montana couple was less than happy about the discovery. “If we’re seeing heavy metals that you can see with the naked eye,” Mark Brown said, “What else might be in there?”
Whitehall Public Works Director, Jerry Ward, said there is no reason to worry about what’s in the water. While there’s a gold mine about five miles away from the town, officials said it’s an unlikely source for the tiny flakes. Instead, the gold bits probably came from the water pipes and pumps, a State Department of Environmental Quality official said.
Gold is no stranger to Whitehall. In 1982, the Golden Sunlight open pit gold mine went into operation. The mine is located about 5 miles northeast of Whitehall. The pit mine is visible from Interstate 90.