posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 08:18 PM
my wife heard a story on the radio about an old toxic lake that formed after the owners turned off the water pumps that kept a Strip mine dry... and
the ground water filled in the pit,,
here is the kicker
it filled up with all the by-products of the strip-mining process,,and as a result, the pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals that
leach from the rock, including arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid...
The pit and its water present a serious environmental problem because the water, with dissolved oxygen, allows pyrite and sulfide minerals in the ore
and wall rocks to decay, releasing acid. When the pit water level eventually reaches the natural water table, estimated to occur by around 2020, the
pit water will reverse flow back into surrounding groundwater, polluting into Silver Bow Creek which is the headwaters of Clark Fork River.
The acidic water in the pit carries a heavy load of dissolved heavy metals. In fact, the water contains so much dissolved metal (up to 187 ppm Cu)
that some material is mined directly from the water.
here is the GOOD part..
New fungal and bacterial species have been found to have adapted to the harsh conditions inside the pit. Intense competition for the limited
resources caused these species to evolve the production of highly toxic compounds to improve survivability; natural products such as Berkeleydione,
berkeleytrione and Berkelic acid have been isolated from these organisms which show selective activity against cancer cell lines. Some of these
species ingest metals and are being investigated as an alternative means of cleaning the water.
Wonderful natural selection.............. That is GREAT news for Earth-Day!!