Testing continues on Eldora mine seepage, but officials say spill isn’t toxic — Longmont Times-Call

The Arcade Saloon in 1898 Eldora Colorado via WikiPedia
The Arcade Saloon in 1898 Eldora Colorado via WikiPedia

From the Longmont Times-Call (John Bear):

Officials believe 4,500 gallons of orange water that leaked from an old Eldora-area mine into a creek Monday — prompting the shutdown of water intake systems downstream — is not toxic, but they’re still awaiting further test results.

Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Lisa McClain-Vanderpool said Tuesday that the agency collected water samples to test for heavy metals associated with mines and expects the results in the next few days.

McClain-Vanderpool said other tests conducted Monday showed the pH balance in the water — which would be affected by the presence of heavy metals — appeared to be within normal ranges.

Boulder County spokeswoman Carrie Haverfield said a county hazardous materials team and Nederland town officials also tested the water Monday and didn’t find anything that raised alarms.

Haverfield said that Boulder County is full of old mines, so some amount of seepage is likely.

“We did call in the proper resources and take the proper precautions we needed to take to ensure the safety of our residents,” Haverfield said.

McClain-Vanderpool added that the EPA and state mining and health officials visited the site Tuesday morning and are continuing to support local responders…

County officials responded to the area Monday after a plug came loose from the historic Swathmore mine, located near the 900 block of Bryan Avenue in the Eldora townsite.

Orange water flowed from the opening for about two-and-a-half hours on Monday, and officials temporarily shut down water intake systems for Nederland and Boulder while they tested the water.

A news release said county officials had been previously made aware of seepage from the mine.

The creek appeared orange on the bottom Tuesday afternoon, and a small culvert that runs into the creek was still full of rust-colored water and mud.

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