UWP samples sediment and water after Ouray Hydrodam’s 2017 spring reservoir release

UWP project coordinator Agnieszka Przeszlowska, Jeff Litteral of the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety and UWP Board Member Dennis Murphy spent the weekend of March 18-19, 2017, sampling water and sediment at several locations along the Uncompahgre River. Our nonprofit is studying the effects of an annual release of water and sediment from the Ouray Hydrodam. The purpose of the release is to maintain and improve dam operations. The study’s aim is to understand if the high heavy metal concentrations in the release, resulting from both natural mineral deposits and flows through mining waste, has longterm negative impacts on the watershed.

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership thanks Ouray Hydrodam Operator Eric Jacobson, the Town of Ridgway, City of Ouray, Ouray County, and other partners who made this water quality study event possible.

TOP PHOTO: Water being released from the Ouray Hydrodam. BOTTOM PHOTO: Dennis Murphy samples sediment at the Ridgway Reservoir. Photos by Agnieszka Przeszlowska.