/ Modified sep 24, 2014 2:39 p.m.

Initial Tests Show No Toxic Waste in San Pedro River

AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality sampled two areas Tuesday after alert that contamination from Mexican mine could potentially make its way north.

san pedro river riparian San Pedro River

Initial tests of the San Pedro River don't indicate there is toxic waste from a copper mine spill in Mexico.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality sampled two areas of the river, after a Monday alert from Mexican officials saying contamination from the Buena Vista del Cobre mine in Cananea, Sonora could leak into the San Pedro.

The department tested pH and metal levels. Preliminary results of pH level testing show the river has not likely been contaminated, but investigators are still examining metals in the water and will continue to monitor the river.

A separate investigation by the International Boundary and Water Commission, a federal agency that oversees U.S. and Mexico water issues, has said investigators spotted discoloration in a stream that leads to the San Pedro in Arizona but did not see any abnormalities in the river itself.

Still, officials are awaiting lab results from samples taken from the stream and the San Pedro River this week.

The mine owners blamed the spill on flooding tied to last week's Hurricane Odile. News of the potential spill was released by Grupo Mexico, the owners of the Cananea mine.

Officials have not said how much waste leaked or what exactly was in the spill.

Mexico's Civil Patrol have warned residents, who live near the San Pedro south of the border, not to drink the water or use it for livestock or farming operations in the mean time.

The Associated Press and Fronteras Desk contributed to this report.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona