Update on the EPA Waterwater Spill into the Animas River

 In Conservation, News, Whitewater Blogged
(Animas River turned yellow due to EPA wastewater spill from the Gold King Mine in Colorado.
Photo credit: By Riverhugger)

We’re still not sure how the tragic EPA wastewater spill into the Animas River will affect our communities, not to mention the life in the river and all around. Whereas officials seem to be optimistic about the health threats of this toxic yellow sludge filling the river, but for now everyone is still just speculating. Until the EPA has completed their tests, there’s just no way of knowing what the long term dangers are to public health. For now, the river is still shut off to the public.

heavy metal yellow wastewater pouring out of the Gold King Mine in Colorado after the EPA accidentally released 3 million gallons into the Animas River. Photo Credit: EPA

heavy metal yellow wastewater pouring out of the Gold King Mine in Colorado after the EPA accidentally released 3 million gallons into the Animas River.
Photo Credit: EPA

While we wait, CNN has come out with a few numbers to help put this whole tragedy into perspective. Here are just a few highlights. For the full story, go here.

3 million gallons of wastewater spilled into the Animas River, CO

It was originally reported that “only” 1 million gallons of wastewater was spilled. the EPA has not upped that number to 3 million gallons filled with toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury.

Speaking of lead in the water, the EPA has seen levels up to 12 times higher than normal after the Gold King Mine spill. Lead poisoning can lead to slow child development and learning disabilities.

Along the Animas and San Juan Rivers, the two rivers most affected by the spill are surrounded by towns housing roughly 63,000 residents. The largest town is Farmington, NM followed by Durango, CO and finally Shiprock – a Navajo community just downstream of Farmington.

Farmington, NM has a 90 day water reserve to live on before the situation reaches critical proportions. In Shiprock alone there are 750 farmers who rely on the river to irrigate their crops.

And, to top it all off there are still approximately 500,000 mines around the nation that need to be cleaned up!!!

Dvorak Expeditions conservation efforts

water and conservation Colorado

The EPA is running tests on the Animas and San Juan river. Preliminary results have shown lead levels are 12 times higher than normal.

So far – fingers crossed, knock on wood – our rafting and kayaking trips are still going strong, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t devastated by the Animas River contamination.

We are behind a number of conservation efforts and fight hard to protect our land, rivers and mountains. If you want to get involved with conservation, take a look at some of the conservation efforts that we support. We encourage everyone to get involved. Saving and protecting our planet is everyone’s responsibility.

Dvorak offers rafting, kayaking and fishing trips on the Colorado River, Dolores River, Green River, Arkansas River, Gunnison River, Salmon River, North Platte River, San Miguel River and Rio Grande River.

Call (719) 539-6851 to book your whitewater rafting adventure!

Dvorak’s Expeditions – Est. 1969

Family Owned & Operated

Bill & Jaci Dvorak