Animas River reopens in San Juan County

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – The state has reopened the Animas River for recreational use and to be used for drinking water following tests that show water quality has improved.

The announcement was made at 8 pm Saturday in a joint statement from the New Mexico Environment Department, Department of Health and Game and Fish Department.

The river was shut down after the EPA accidentally released three million gallons of mining waste from a site in Colorado into the river.

Testing shows the heavy metal levels that spiked in the days following the spill have since fallen below dangerous levels.

San Juan County can now start drawing in drinking water from the river.

While fishing is also allowed again, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department recommends anglers only do catch and release fishing until the amount of contamination in fish in the river can be better assessed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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