How did the Animas River get polluted?

The government scientists sampled river water, milk from cows that drank the water, and crops that were irrigated with river water for 75 miles downstream from the mill. They found that the Animas River was polluted with chemical and radioactive materials.

Is the Animas River clean?

Despite the many Stakeholders Group successes, water quality in the Animas River in recent years has diminished, mainly from the mines leaching into one of the river’s tributaries, Cement Creek. In 2014, the EPA decided pollution had gotten so bad that it stepped in with a $1.5 million cleanup project of its own.

What River did the EPA pollution?

Animas River
2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill

The Animas River between Silverton and Durango within 24 hours of the spill. The river turned yellow from the oxidation of dissolved iron in the escaped waste water.
Date August 5, 2015
Participants Environmental Protection Agency

How was the Gold King mine spill cleaned up?

The EPA is currently compiling a cleanup plan for each mine. The agency also built a temporary water treatment plant near the Gold King. It removes arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals from mine discharge.

Is it safe to eat fish from the Animas River?

DENVER— Fish tissue sampling by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined trout from the Animas River are safe to eat. Levels of mercury, selenium and arsenic in rainbow and brown trout were within the range of levels in fish previously sampled in the state.

Is Animas River safe to swim in?

Based on guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency, metals in the Animas River are at levels considered safe for recreational users who accidentally swallow river water while rafting or swimming. Additionally, metals in water do not readily pass through skin to internal organs upon contact.

Why is the Animas River orange?

The Environmental Protection Agency was trying to remove some heavily polluted wastewater from a mine near Silverton, Coloroado, when it accidentally spilled some into the nearby Animas River, causing it to turn orange. While doing this, toxic water started pouring into a tributary of the River.

Where is the Animas River?

Animas River – near Silverton-Durango. The Animas river rises in the San Juan mountains and runs 126 miles through Colorado and New Mexico before dumping into the San Juan River in Farmington, NM. Along this 126 mile course the Animas river fills Lake Nighthorse, a reservoir that serves the Southern Ute tribal area.

How and why did the Gold King Mine spill occur?

The Gold King disaster was caused by a contract EPA crew that was checking out the mine for future cleanup work. As they used heavy machinery to peel back a layer of rock and dirt covering the opening — or adit — orange-colored water began spilling out. And then it began gushing out.

Why are mine tailings yellow?

That yellow color is a sign of sulfides in the original rock. Once exposed to the open air environment, these sulphides break down producing a mild sulphuric acid. This acid acts on the iron in the rock forming a yellow iron hydroxide which ends up staining the whole pile.

Why is the Animas River so blue?

According to officials, the recent color of the Animas River is a result of typical monsoonal conditions. With snowmelt all but complete and monsoons in full swing, residents can expect periodic discoloration of the Animas River, a public health official said Thursday.

Are there fish in the Animas River?

Fish populations in the Animas River are primarily sustained though annual stocking of fingerling rainbow and brown trout.

Why was the Animas River yellow after the spill?

The Animas River between Silverton and Durango within 24 hours of the spill. The river turned yellow from the oxidation of dissolved iron in the escaped waste water.

Is the Animas River closed to the public?

Operating mines have been required to perform such measurement of water level since a fatal mine flood in 1895. The Animas River was closed to recreation until August 14. During the closure, county officials warned river visitors to stay out of the water.

Who was affected by the Gold King Mine spill?

A total of 73 claims were filed, some by farmers who lost crops or had to haul water because rivers polluted by the spill were temporarily unusable for irrigation and livestock. Rafting companies and their employees sought lost income and wages because they couldn’t take visitors on river trips.