Blue River turns orange in Breckenridge |

Blue River turns orange in Breckenridge

Deepan Dutta / Summit Daily News

UPDATE 5:00 P.M.: The source of the orange water appears to be an abandoned mine on private property near the intersection of Boreas Pass Road and Bright Hope Circle. There is no confirmation at this time if the runoff is harmful to human health.


The Blue River has turned orange in Breckenridge. The water has gone from its natural blue-green hue to a bright, burnt orange within the past few hours. The water is clear in the town of Blue River, and there is suspicion that the source is from an abandoned mine on private property near Boreas Pass Road and Bright Hope Circle.

Authorities are still investigating and all local water districts have been notified. The Blue River is one of the primary sources for the Dillon Reservoir, which provides drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people on the Front Range.

A similar incident occurred back in April, 2006, when toxic heavy metals from an abandoned mine near the same site as the current spill ran down the Blue and turned it orange in Breckenridge for three days. The incident caused a mass death of fish in the river.

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