Saturday, April 4, 2020

Arizona declares Lake Powell safe for recreational activities


The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) reassured the public last week that Lake Powell, which was affected by the Aug. 5 Gold King Mine spill, is safe for normal uses.

The department and other state agencies have been working together to monitor and assess data from the spill, which occurred in Colorado and released heavy-metal contaminated water into the Animas River. This was carried downstream into Arizona, but the state’s agencies concur that Lake Powell and downstream Colorado River are safe for recreational and agricultural uses, drinking water and public water systems. Water samples from Aug. 12 were compared with historic data to determine the area’s safety.

“ADEQ wants Arizona residents and visitors to know that Lake Powell is safe for Labor Day recreational activities including swimming and boating,” ADEQ Water Quality Division Director Trevor Baggiore said. “ADEQ and the multiple cooperating agencies are reviewing and analyzing new information as it becomes available as part of our everyday work to protect Arizona’s waters.”

The Arizona Game and Fish Department will continue assessment work, with water quality and fish tissue samples from Lake Powell. ADEQ will publish the results of these tests.

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Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

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