Tucson Water anticipates no contamination issues from the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado. A contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency last week accidentally released 3 million gallons of wastewater into the river. The source of the contamination is an abandoned gold mine and includes heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. While the Animas River is a tributary to the Colorado River - the principal source of water for Tucson - Tucson Water officials do not expect local water contamination issues.
“Lake Powell and Lake Mead provide a buffer that will substantially dilute any contaminants long before they reach the intakes for the Central Arizona Project downstream in Lake Havasu,” said Interim Tucson Water Director Albert Elias. Tucson Water monitors water quality at all wells that provide water for the community, performing more than 14,500 tests each year.