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Sih-mem Creek Channel and a Residential Yard


The Silver Dyke Mine is located in Operable Unit 3 (OU3) of the Carpenter Snow Creek Mining District Site. The mine operated from 1921 to 1929 and included a mine and mill and three tailings impoundments. The foreman lived several hundred feet below the mine during operations and this residence is currently used for recreational activities. The Silver Dike adit discharges poor quality water to Sih-mem Creek which discharges into Carpenter Creek, where it degrades water quality so severely that fish are not present in the affected stream reach of Carpenter Creek in OU3. The population density and taxa richness of macroinvertebrates in Sih Mem is non-existent due to the high metal concentrations in the adit discharge and is severely impaired in Carpenter Creek downgradient of the Sih-Mem Creek confluence.

During the 2011 spring runoff, Sih-mem Creek formed a new channel between where the creek goes under Pioneer Lane and where it enters Carpenter Creek. Sih-Mem Creek is the Silver Dyke Mine adit discharge which is the 5th worst metals loading adit discharge in Montana. This new channel increased the infiltration of contaminated surface water where a lack of defined channel caused the stream to spread out into a meadow and saturate the soil and occasionally floods around an adjacent property owner’s house near the intersection of Sih-mem Creek and Carpenter Creek.
The former Silver Dyke Mining Company foreman's house is in a drainage several hundred feet below the Silver Dyke Adit. There are several unsecured mine features on the steep hillsides surrounding the property. Recent logging in the area in conjunction with the water run-off from the winter and spring that has been caused these waste rock piles to erode onto the property while a nearby tailings piles were likely used in the past as the driveway base.