An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

La Plata County, Colorado

August 14:

From La Plata County, Colorado: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has collected and analyzed sediment from the Animas River. The data show levels of contamination are below what would be a concern for human health during typical recreational exposure.

Based on this statement from the state health department, Sheriff Sean Smith has made the decision to open the river to recreational use with the attached health advisory from the state health department.  Sheriff Smith said, "My primary concern is the public health and safety of our community.  In an abundance of caution, with the consultation of all our partner agencies, I issued the order to close the river to recreational uses on Thursday, August 6.  With the release of preliminary results from the state health department and its accompanying recommendation, I am opening our river for recreation effective Friday, August 14, 2015 at noon with the health advisory."  Read the complete press release, from La Plata County.

Top of Page

August 12, 2015:

From La Plata County, Colorado: San Juan Basin Health Department and City of Durango are assisting the EPA by staffing the Call Center and providing GIS mapping of properties that have domestic water wells. There were a total of 54 residential water well samples taken through yesterday and a total of 24 private water wells will be sampled today.  Individual well owners will be contacted directly as their results are completed, to be followed by written correspondence with validated results. Read the complete press release, from La Plata County.

Top of Page

August 11, 2015:

La Plata County, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), EPA, and San Juan Basin Health are conducting sampling upon request of household water from water wells that are in close proximity to the Animas River that may be influenced by river water. If you have a well used for household water and would like a sample collected, please call the La Plata County Call Center at (970) 385-8700. Residents should not take their own samples; technicians will be sent to sample the water from homes. 

At this time, the call center is being overwhelmed, and officials are asking that only those who may have wells directly affected by this incident call in.

County residents who have cisterns and haul their water are asked to reduce their water usage and obtain their water from water docks outside of Durango.

The Bayfield water dock is available 24/7 and is located on the corner of Mountain View and Spruce. The Mancos water dock is located at the corner of E. Montezuma and South Main in Mancos and is open 24/7.

Water for livestock is available by calling the La Plata County Call Center at (970) 385-8700 hours operation are 8:00am-8:00pm.

The City of Durango wants to remind residents and businesses that if they pay their water bill to the City of Durango, their tap water is safe to drink. City staff turned off and blocked the intakes from the Animas River last Wednesday before the plume reached Durango. The pumps will remain off until the Animas is safe. Because the Florida River is now the sole source of drinking water, it is imperative that residents and businesses continue to conserve as much water as possible.

CDPHE is working closely with public drinking water systems to ensure safe drinking water.

Top of Page