June 17, 2010 - In the tiny Montana town of Colstrip, people knew the Moose Lodge well water tasted bad. But it would be years before the community learned why.
Waste ponds at a massive coal plant nearby had leaked over the decades, contaminating wells in residential neighborhoods and groundwater under cattle grazing lands, as lawsuits would eventually allege. According to an excellent investigation last year by The Center for Public Integrity (CPI), some who drank the well water got diarrhea; another resident stopped drinking her strange-looking tap water after her cat would no longer lap it up.
The contamination came from a coal plant, but not from the usual air pollutants.