Animas River

April 28, 2015--Fish in the Animas aren’t going hungry (Durango Herald)

There are fewer fish locally in the Animas River than there used to be, but the populations are not likely wanting for food.  A study of bugs, specifically macroinvertebrates, recently completed found a wide variety of species, including many that are sensitive to pollution, said Scott Roberts, an aquatic biologist with Ecosphere Environmental Services.


Quality: Study Finds Human Waste in Rivers

As part of a two-year study of the Animas and San Juan Rivers, the San Juan Watershed Group recently reported findings of elevated levels of bacteria from human waste in the waters. Researchers focused on water quality in New Mexico, except for one point at the Colorado and New Mexico border. The point on the border was studied for only one year, making the sample size smaller. But it is a red flag, especially because the levels of human bacteria dropped at sites tested downstream. “The public should have some concern about the recreational use of these rivers,” said Geoffrey Smith, biologist at New Mexico State University, who worked on the study. However, the bacteria is not found in treated drinking water. The study found bacteria from animals such as cattle and elk in 90 percent of the samples and bacteria from humans in 80 percent of the samples across both rivers. Bacteria from human waste could be coming from leaking septic tanks, people who illegally dump waste, going to the bathroom outside or from wastewater treatment plants. These finds are concerning because bacteria from human waste is more likely to make people sick with viral and bacterial infections than animal bacteria, Smith said. Finding where the bacteria is coming from is the next step in eliminating the pollution.


December 15, 2014--Healthy Animas, healthy animals (Durango Herald)

Potentially, harmfully high levels of nutrients are flowing from the Florida River into the Animas River, and one project is hoping to make a dent in the problem. The Animas Watershed Partnership and rancher Keith Fassbender recently finished fencing almost a mile of the Florida River west of the Durango-La Plata County Airport as part of the effort.


December 7, 2014--Animas River trout in decline (Durango Herald)

The number of brown and rainbow trout in the Animas River swimming through Durango has declined, according to an ongoing study. In particular, a decline has been noted in fish from 32nd Street to the Lightner Creek confluence with the Animas, said Jim White an aquatic biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, who worked on the fish survey.


October 29, 2014--New river water samples to be tested for human waste (Daily Times)

A local environmental group this week finished collecting samples as part of a long-term study that already suggests septic waste may be seeping from sewage systems or being dumped from San Juan County into the San Juan and Animas rivers. The two-year study includes samples collected from five sites along the two rivers in and just outside the county.


October 19, 2014--City’s smelly situation (Durango Herald)

Proposed sewer plant upgrades carry a price tag of $55 million, according to engineers hired to advise Durango City Council.In addition to the staggering estimate, the construction must be completed by December 2017 to meet state regulations for higher water quality.Currently, the plant is releasing more nitrogen and phosphorous into the Animas River than the new regulations allow.If the


Water Quality to Improve on the Animas River

According to a Durango Herald article, in 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to plug the abandoned Red Bonita mine near Silverton in an effort to help reduce the flow of heavy metals draining into Cement Creek, which ultimately flows into the Animas River.

September 27, 2014--EPA to plug polluted mine in Silverton (Durango Herald)

Poisonous metals flow from many abandoned mines near Silverton, but in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to address one that is draining hundreds of gallons of toxins a minute into the watershed.


September 13, 2014--Deadline softens for city of Aztec to fix Animas River intake (Daily Times)

Officials have softened the Oct. 31 deadline for the City of Aztec to construct a permanent solution in the Animas River to help feed the city's sole river intake for drinking water. Last winter, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set the deadline after the city applied for a permit to construct a rock diversion dike in the Animas River.


Durango’s New Whitewater Park Opens

The Whitewater Park in-stream construction that began November 2, 2013, is finished and opened on April 18th.  Features of the $1 million project include eddies, flow deflectors, and four bank-to-bank drop features that create large rapids, said Scott Shipley, Olympic paddler and designer of Durango’s Whitewater Park.


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