On August 5, 2015, U.S. EPA was conducting an investigation of the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. While excavating as part of the investigation, water began leaking from the mine tunnel, and about three million gallons of water and sediment were released into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River .
The Gold King Mine spill occurred at the Gold King Mine —an abandoned mine near Silverton, Colorado—in August 2015. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) personnel and a company under EPA contract triggered the release of toxic wastewater in an attempt to remove such wastewater from the mine .
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. But many observers and environmental groups say much more work is needed.
As water exits the mine , the water flows into a system of four treatment ponds. The treatment ponds provide retention time to allow the addition of lime to neutralize the pH. Substances to treat water are added during the process to settle the metals to the bottom of the retention ponds.
The water reacts with iron disulfide (pyrite) and oxygen to form sulfuric acid (acid rock/ mine drainage).
In August 2015, the Gold King Mine blew out. When it did , more than 3 million gallons of orange wastewater spilled into the Animas River in southern Colorado. The water from the superfund site has led to environmental hazards that some say have severely hurt fish and wildlife populations in the river.
DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced three long-term goals Wednesday for cleaning up the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund site in southwestern Colorado. The Gold King is one of 48 mining -related sites included in the Superfund cleanup.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it now estimates that a leak that turned a Colorado river yellow has caused three times as much pollution as initially thought.
As you might expect, the Animas River that flows from the high country in Silverton has gold throughout. Even all the way down to Durango can produce a bit of “color” in the bottom of your pan.
the Animas River
Despite ash flows and mine waste, the river is resilient. It’s been a rough couple of years for the Animas River . This weekend marks three years since the river , which runs through the heart of Durango, endured a massive mine waste spill from a blowout at the Gold King Mine.
An estimated 1 million gallons of waste water spilled out of an abandoned mine area in the southern part of the state last week, turning the Animas River orange and prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to tell locals to avoid it. Fish are more sensitive to changes in water.
2015 EPA Spill The Animas River immediately turned orange as the contaminated water devastated one of this region’s most important watersheds. The heavy metals in the spill will persist in the sediments of the river for years to come.