Tag Archives: manganese

Mine Spill To Affect CO, UT, NM, AZ, & Mexico

 red greeen and blue

America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a water warning for areas near Durango, Colorado spreading all the way to Mexico. Last week, the Animas River suffered a toxic spill from a nearby mine, resulting in a mustard-colored contamination. 3 million gallons of lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper, manganese, and iron spilled when federal EPA workers were moving earth trying to control rising water levels in Gold King Mine and prevent an incident such as this one.

EPA cleanup

“What wasn’t a problem in the past is becoming a problem now because of the increased use of mountain water,” says geology and alpine hydrology professor Mark Williams at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mark has worked with the EPA in the past to mitigate polluted water from abandoned Colorado mines. Western states together contain 500,000 abandoned mine sites that have the potential to cause pollution issues such as this one.

Animas River

But issue at hand remains how the water is going to affect the rest of the country and Mexico. The watershed that the Animas River flows into has already contaminated Colorado and Utah and will continue to flow down through the Navajo nation (some parts of Arizona and New Mexico) and Mexico. Farmers, industrial buildings, and the community surrounding the area of the spill have been warned not to use the water until it is deemed safe again. In the meantime, the EPA has sent out teams to clean the river thoroughly so that it can start to self-heal and bring wildlife back to the area. People living in areas affected by the spill can now file claims with the EPA.

Sources:

Yahoo! News. Animas River Spill: How Colorado’s ‘Gold Medal’ Rivers Turned Mustard. http://news.yahoo.com/animas-river-spill-colorados-gold-medal-waters-turned-002900376.html

Fox News. EPA’s McCarthy: Contaminated Water From Colorado Mine Will Spread. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/11/epa-mccarthy-contamination-from-colorado-mine-spill-will-spread-cause-still/

Images:

1) redgreenandblue.org

2) pressherald.com

3) wilx.com

Trace elements at levels of potential health concerns found in wells

RESTON, Va. — According to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, about 20 percent of untreated water samples from public, private and monitoring wells across the nation contain concentrations of at least one trace element, such as arsenic, manganese and uranium, at levels of potential health concern, according to a press release.

“In public wells these contaminants are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , and contaminants are removed from the water before people drink it,” said Joe Ayotte, USGS hydrologist and lead author on the study. “However, trace elements could be present in water from private wells at levels that are considered to pose a risk to human health, because they aren’t subject to regulations. In many cases people might not even know that they have an issue.”

Trace elements in groundwater exceed human health benchmarks at a rate that far outpaces most other groundwater contaminants, such as nitrate, pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), stated the release.