August 14, 2015 / Modified aug 15, 2015 8:42 a.m.

AZ WEEK: Is Mine Waste Spill Threatening Arizona's Water?

Million of gallons of waste, including arsenic and lead, surged into tributaries of Colorado River.

It’s been one week since contractors with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency caused a dam burst in one of Colorado’s abandoned mines. The spill sent 3 million of gallons of wastewater contaminated with arsenic and lead into the Animas River, which eventually feeds to the Colorado River at Lake Powell. Arizona Week Friday looks at how the spill affects Arizona.

On the program:

  • University of Arizona Professors Raina Maier and Karletta Chief work in the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences. They weigh in on what the spill means for Arizona’s water supply.

  • Even after the orange sludge that marked the spill disappears, experts say metals will remain. Tom Meixner, in the UA Department of Hydrology, explains the long- and short-term impact on water quality.

  • A spokesman for the Central Arizona Project explains one solution to the pollution - dilution.

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