The natural freeze-thaw cycle associated with the warming temperatures last week caused a pipeline fitting to leak, resulting in a spill of Eagle Mine-impacted water. The leak, located at the south end of Rex Flats, has been stopped.

A total of 36,000 gallons of water is estimated to have been released, with an unknown amount – suspected to be a small fraction – reaching the Eagle River, which runs 120 feet from the leak’s location. Though the contaminated water does not pose significant risk to human health, chronic exposure to elevated heavy metals can lead to complications for fish. Additionally, the heavy metals can complicate the water treatment process at downstream drinking water facilities. Numerous water quality sampling sites at and downstream from the leak allow for ongoing monitoring of heavy metals in the stream.

Eagle River Watershed Council will continue to monitor the situation, working with partners, including Colorado Department of Public Health & the Environment (CDPHE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Eagle County, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, CBS and its contractors and the Town of Minturn, to address and work to prevent future leaks. You can learn more about the Eagle Mine Superfund Site and its impacts to the Eagle River here.