YUMA, Ariz. – 3 million gallons of waste water, that’s how much toxic sludge officials say has tainted the water in the Animas river. The spill happened on Wednesday in Colorado after the Environmental Protection Agency says one of their teams was using heavy machinery in an old gold mine causing the sediments to spill into the river. Water with potentially harmful materials is spreading to multiple states in the Desert Southwest. Shaun McGrath with the EPA says “Our initial sample results have come in the water does hold several metals in high quanities that would not be safe to drink”
The water with a very noticeable yellow color… has flowed into the San Juan River which feeds into the Colorado River this has many residents in Yuma concerned. A resident named Will Glor says “The EPA should get it cleaned up and they have gotten ridiculous” and another resident, Yvonne Romero stated “even if it was an accident they got to pay for what they do because it effects our health and we’ll end up paying for it”
The Yuma Visitors bureau is watching the situation closely…. and fear it may affect our environment. Executive director of the Yuma Visitor’s Bureau says, “Anything that affects the habitat, the usability of the river for fun an recreation is a concern” The city of Yuma however wants to put those fears to rest…. in a statement to us they state “While monitoring upstream conditions, the City of Yuma does not, at this time, expect broad impact from a mining chemical spill into a waterway that feeds the Colorado River.”
The Arizona Department of Environmental quality says the spill has not affected Arizona’s water supply at this time and they have sent a team to get water samples to get a better understanding of the situation.