Whitehall, Montana consists of approximately 1,000 people and is nearly 70 miles south from the capital city of Helena. KTVM NBC Montana is reporting that at least two households in the Jefferson County town are finding gold flakes in their tap water, and that has them concerned.
Sharon Brown was washing dishes earlier this week when something caught her eye. Her husband, Mark Brown, told KTVM, "She had pulled the plug to let the water out and it was glistening, gleaming little flecks." Mr. Brown did not believe that it could possibly be gold, but after multiple tests were done, they found that it actually was the precious metal. He told the Montana station, "Everything I tried to do to dispel this, I got nothing. And I can't explain it either. It's bizarre."
Mark and Sharon Brown’s next-door neighbor, Paul Harper, deals in antiques and gold, and he’s encountering gold flakes in his tap water as well. He, like the Browns, is concerned that if they’re finding gold in their water, there might be more harmful pollutants in there that aren’t visible to the eye. However, KTVM spoke with Whitehall Public Works Director Jerry Ward, who told the station there was nothing indicating there was anything harmful in the water.
KTVM does point out that there is an open pit goldmine only 5 miles away from Whitehall, but state water quality officials don’t believe that it has anything to do with the tap water. They think it’s more likely that the flakes, “came from pipes or a pump, or some approved equipment tied to the Whitehall water supply.”
More info: KTVM