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Discolored water seen flowing into the Animas

The Daily Times staff
Environmental Restoration LLC employees, work on Aug. 10, 2015, at a temporary water treatment holding facility near the Gold King Mine north of Silverton, Colo.

FARMINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today  that workers found discolored water flowing through a creek near Silverton, Colo., according to a press release.

The press release stated the Region 8 EPA office was notified on Sunday afternoon that water flowing through Cement Creek had an "orange tinge" and it was not related to the EPA's work at Gold King Mine. It also said the interim water treatment plant was functioning normally.

New Mexico along with Colorado, Utah, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Navajo Nation announced a plan in March to monitor the sediments left behind by the Gold King Mine spill last year as the spring runoff season increases water flow into the Animas and San Juan rivers stirring up sediment. Cement Creek feeds into the Animas and the Animas feeds into the San Juan.

Water in the North Fork of Cement Creek, which flows past the the Gold King Mine was not discolored, according to the press release. The discolored water was noticed about a mile downstream from the treatment plant after it passed through two natural iron bogs before dissipating at the confluence with the Animas River, according to the press release.

People along the Animas and San Juan Rivers were notified immediately by email..

The EPA is anticipating more orange discoloration in the river water throughout the spring runoff season.