Toxins and metals found in water from Hi-Crush release - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Toxins and metals found in water from Hi-Crush release

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Whitehall, WI (WXOW) - -

It was more than dirt in the water.

Tests done by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on water that was released from a Trempealeau County sand mine holding pond during the rescue of a trapped man show a number of toxic substances and metals present in the runoff.

That differs from information released from the DNR on Tuesday that said the preliminary results showed "no immediate toxicity".

The DNR released initial reports on the water tests from the 10 million gallons of water that came from the pond at the Hi-Crush sand mine near Whitehall on May 21. The pond water went down a small creek, entered the Trempealeau River, then ended up in the Mississippi River. 

A man operating a bulldozer became trapped underwater in the pond at the mine that morning. In order to help save the man's life, rescuers took down part of a the wall to the pond. 

Following the release of the water, the DNR immediately gathered several water samples along the path of the water. 

After testing, the samples contained a number of metals and toxins including aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, copper, mercury, and nickel.

Testing near the spill shows arsenic nearly seven times the allowable levels for drinking water. 

DNR Communications Director James Dick said that the highest metal concentrations were recorded nearest the holding pond where the water entered Pocker Coulee Creek. He said the concentrations were reduced as samples were taken further downstream and at the Trempealeau River.

Dick said the samples at the Trempealeau River met surface water quality standards.  

Additional testing from the DNR showed that dissolved oxygen levels on both the creek and river were above the level to sustain life, according to Dick. No fish kills were reported.

He stated that more testing is underway to determine what the potential long-term effects are on aquatic life may be as a result of the water release. 

Clean up continues by the company.

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