Animas River
Gold King Mine Event

On August 5, 2015, about three million gallons of water and sediment
were released from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, into
Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River. The New Mexico
Environment Department, among other State, Tribal, and local entities in
CO, NM, and UT, is concerned that metals associated with the water and
sediment released from the Gold King Mine could have long-term
detrimental effects on surface-water quality of the Animas and San Juan
Rivers, with potential risks to human health and the environment. The
USGS, in cooperation with the New Mexico Environment Department,
proposes to collect, analyze, and report surface-water quality data to
characterize post-release conditions. The objectives of the study are to
provide data that will improve the understanding of post-GKM-release
surface-water quality for the Animas and San Juan Rivers under a variety
of hydrologic conditions, including during high-flow events, and to
provide real-time data on flow and field parameters that affected
stakeholders can use to take whatever actions they feel might be
necessary to protect public health. To accomplish these objectives, for a
period of one year at four sites on the Animas and San Juan Rivers, the
USGS will conduct continuous monitoring of water-quality parameters and
will collect integrated water-quality samples during snowmelt runoff
for analysis of major ions and dissolved and total metals. One site also
will be instrumented with an automatic sampler to collect water-quality
samples during snowmelt and storm events for analysis of major ions and
total metals. The resulting data will be available through the National
Water Information Systems database and its associated Web applications.

Site Name                                                   Site ID                             Links to NWISWeb database          
Animas River near Cedar Hill, NM          09363500                         streamflow                           summary of available data

Animas River below Aztec, NM                09364010                       streamflow                            summary of available data

San Juan River at Farmington, NM          09365000                       streamflow                           summary of available data

San Juan River at Shiprock, NM               09368000                        streamflow                           summary of available data