NMED Issues Precautions For EPA Gold King Mine Spill

NMED News:

  • Contaminated Plume Now in New Mexico

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Environment Department continues working with local, regional, and federal stakeholders to advise San Juan County citizens of safety precautions, while updating those affected about the Gold King Mine Spill’s pulse location and effects. 

Adherence to the following important safety measures is critical during and after the period of time while the Gold King mining wastewater release courses through the Animas and San Juan Rivers and the surrounding communities. It is likely precautions will be needed for several days and possibly longer. Plan accordingly.

  • Do Not Use Nearby “Floodplain Level” Wells. If you live in the Animas River or San Juan River flood plain and your wellhead is at roughly the  same level as the river, the Environment Department advises you to refrain from using the water for cooking and drinking or any human or animal ingestion until further notice. Do not boil river water in an attempt to purify it and use it for ingestion. Boiling the contaminated water will not remove potential contaminants.
  • Do Not Draw Canal or River Water. People who draw domestic water directly from the Animas River, San Juan Rivers or from irrigation canals should refrain from using the water until further notice. 
  • Do Conserve Water. Conservation of water is critical during the time that the pulse of contaminated water is passing through the region, and possibly for days thereafter. Until the concentration of constituents is known, drinking water systems and nearby well water users are refraining from drawing the river water, and thus supplying customers from limited clean water reserves.
  • Do Get Potable Water from Water Stations. Potable water stations have been set up through San Juan County’s Office of Emergency Management (www.sjcounty.net) for residents at the following locations:
    • Center Point Fire Station # 1 – 16 Road 2755
    • Flora Vista Fire Station #1 – 2 Road 3275
    • Valley Fire Station #4 – 4 Road 6200
  • Stations will be open: 
    • Saturday 9-10 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.; and
    • Sunday 9-10 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • Do bring your own water containers. No large tanks.
  • Do Not Water Livestock. Livestock owners should refrain from watering livestock from Animas or San Juan River water.
  • Do Not Ingest Fish from the Rivers. The New Mexico Game and Fish Department advises anglers not to fish in the Animas River and not to eat fish caught in the San Juan River watershed.

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