SILVERTON, Colo. (CBS4) – One million gallons of wastewater from a San Juan County mine are spilling into the Animas River.

A plug blew at the Gold King Mine near Silverton. It happened on Wednesday while U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials were doing work on the mine.

All the water is now pouring into the river and flowing downriver.

Durango has shut down water intakes from the river until the contaminated water has passed, but the spill is not affecting drinking water.

An Animas River Stakeholders Group spokesman told The Durango Herald it’s hard to know at this point what the affect on aquatic life in the river will be.

See The Durango Herald’s video interview below:

“This metal loading, it’s probably got a substantial amount of cadmium, zinc, copper, iron and aluminum in it,” Butler said.

“I doubt that it’s actually a human health hazard but nobody knows for sure what’s actually in the river.”

(credit: Durango Herald)

The front page of the Durango Herald’s Friday print edition (credit: Durango Herald)


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