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Spill turns Colorado river yellow

August 10, 2015 6:40 pm

A toxic leak of wastewater that has turned a Colorado river mustard yellow is three times larger than US officials had originally estimated.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now says that three million gallons of wastewater spilled from an abandoned mine last week.

The EPA does not believe wildlife is in significant danger because the sludge moved so quickly downstream.

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Local authorities took steps to protect drinking water supplies and farms.

The spill began on 5 August when EPA workers, who were cleaning up the closed Gold King Mine, accidentally sent the toxic water flowing into a tributary of the Animas River.

The Animas River has been closed and local officials have advised people to stay out of the water.

The EPA is meeting with Colorado residents this week and testing local wells for contamination. More than 1,000 wells may have been contaminated.

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