Water providers raise alert over uranium pollution from mine

Denver-area water providers are pressuring state mining regulators to force Cotter Corp. to clean up a defunct uranium mine contaminating groundwater and a creek that flows into a major reservoir.

The latest water-quality tests showed that Ralston Creek below Schwartzwalder mine carried as much as 390 parts per billion of uranium, which is 13 times higher than the 30 ppb health standard. Contamination of groundwater at the source — inside the mine — exceeded the standard by 1,000 times.

Drinking water remains safe, authorities say, because uranium is removed from Ralston Reservoir water by municipal water treatment plants.

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