Animas River Monitoring

July 23, 2017 - Latest animas river water quality results from MSI's monitoring program at rotary park in durango, CO

Click the graph below to see the latest Animas River water quality results from MSI's Rotary Park monitoring program.
Metal concentrations from 2015 to 2017 are depicted in context of water quality benchmarks that are set to protect use of the Animas River for agriculture, recreation, and aquatic life. For help interpreting these graphs, please see MSI's Guide to 2016 water quality results.  So far in 2017, metal concentrations in the Animas River at Rotary Park have been consistent with concentrations observed in 2016.  

Metal concentrations from 2015 to 2017 are depicted in context of water quality benchmarks that are set to protect use of the Animas River for agriculture, recreation, and aquatic life. For help interpreting these graphs, please see MSI's Guide to 2016 water quality results

So far in 2017, metal concentrations in the Animas River at Rotary Park have been consistent with concentrations observed in 2016.  


animas river water quality results from other organizations and agencies:

-San Juan Basin Public Health, an authority for guidance on human health concerns related to the Animas River.

-USGS gauges on the Animas and San Juan Rivers

 -Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

-Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE)


Summary of 2016 water quality monitoring results from the Animas River at Rotary Park

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), a nonpartisan independent research center, has been monitoring water quality of the Animas River before, during, and after the Gold King Mine release. MSI continued to monitor the Animas River at Rotary Park in 2016 and has water quality results from samples collected during spring runoff, base flows, and storm events from February through November of 2016.

Click the above image to open the flipbook-style guide: Once you open the PDF, use the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard to flip through the pages.

Click the above image to open the flipbook-style guide: Once you open the PDF, use the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard to flip through the pages.


In 2016, MSI distributed rack cards to help the public understand       animas river water quality: 


August 2016 - MSI RELEASES REPORT THAT EVALUATES THE IMPACTS TO ANIMAS RIVER BENTHIC MACROINVERTEBRATE POPULATIONS FROM THE AUGUST 2015 GOLD KING MINE RELEASE.  

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) surveyed benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) populations along the Animas River from Silverton to Durango and analyzed potential impacts to these populations from the Gold King Mine release. MSI analyzed the immediate survival of benthic insects and also compared observations of BMI populations from the fall of 2014, prior to the Gold King Mine release, to the fall of 2015, two months after the release. 


June 2016 - Spring Runoff Update

In early April, for the first time in eight months, the reach of the Animas River from Tall Timbers Resort (located in the Animas River canyon) to Durango rose to the same level it was when the Gold King Mine release occurred, due mostly to snowmelt. “We collected water quality samples to coincide with this flushing event in an effort to capture conditions when sediment deposited along the margins of the Animas River banks could have been re-suspended.”

The monitoring program is part of a partnership between MSI and the City of Durango to communicate Animas River water quality information to the public.

“Our monitoring program aims to understand whether water quality this spring is any different than previous years and if metal concentrations in the river pose any threat to human health, agriculture, or aquatic life” said Marcie Bidwell, MSI’s director. Read More -->

For a summary and explanation of Animas River spring monitoring results check out these links: 

Click to open the spring runoff update

Click to open the spring runoff update

Click to open the flipbook: Once you open the PDF guide, use the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard to flip through the pages. 

Click to open the flipbook: Once you open the PDF guide, use the left and right arrow buttons on your keyboard to flip through the pages. 


Gold king Mine Release - Click below to visit MSI's Gold King Mine release portal: