Friday, August 21, 2015

UA report: Colorado River water quality not measurably impacted by Gold King spill

The Superfund Research Program at the University of Arizona has released an extensive report on the Gold King Mine spill.  It includes calculations of how much of each metal, etc were included in the 3 million gallon spill and evaluates the potential impacts on communities ranging from close to the spill, downriver all the way to Yuma.  [right, map of EPA water sample locations -]

They conclude that "Once water and sediments from the Animas River enter the San Juan River, they are diluted and mixed in with many times the volumes water and tons of sediments that this river carries daily down to the Colorado. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the overall water quality of the San Juan or the Colorado rivers have been or will be measurably affected by this release."

The report states "Four pounds of cadmium were released in this toxic spill. Cadmium is a heavy metal that is of concern in some soils in the Yuma area because it can accumulate in some vegetables and grains. Using Colorado River daily flow volumes of water and sediments, we estimated that cadmium levels in water will be non-detectable and several orders of magnitude below the drinking water standard of 5 ug/L."

Therefore, our conclusion, atleast for now,is that the impact on irrigation water quality in Yuma of this particular event (not including any past history of metals releases from that area) is
not and will not be measurable.

No comments:

Post a Comment