Photos Of The Animas River Spill Show A Dangerously Toxic Orange Body Of Water — PHOTOS

Share

The Animas river in Colorado is channeling its inner Donald Trump today ... as in, it's dyed orange. According to ABC News, three million gallons of toxic waste water was accidentally released into the river by a group of EPA workers. The spill occurred on August 5 in Silverton, Colorado — an area in the southwestern part of the state — and photos show a devastating sight. "Everybody in town knew it was coming. It was hard to wake up in the morning and see an orange river," Tom Bartles of Durango, Colorado told CNN.

The orange color is more than just eye-catching — it's potentially dangerous. According to CNN, officials said that the spill carries pollutants like iron, zinc, and copper. For example, on Thursday, the EPA found that the river's arsenic concentration was 26 times higher than what they consider a safe amount. Lead levels are reportedly 12,000 times higher than the recommended limit.

How did this happen? Colorado Public Radio explains that the EPA was trying to clean waste from an old mine by building a drain pipe. Their plan backfired when they dug into the dam holding back the water and found that it was made of soil instead of rock. The water then flowed out, contaminating the river. The EPA's director of emergency preparedness in the region, Dave Ostrander, said, "We typically respond to emergencies, we don’t cause them. But this is just something that happens when we’re dealing with mines sometimes."

Here's a sad look at what the Animas River looks like right now.