Copper Present in Water Days After Frac Sand Spill

A creek inundated with 10 million gal. of water from a Trempealeau County, Wis., frac sand mine had toxic levels of copper two days after the spill, according to test results recently released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The test results from the DNR also showed higher levels of metals along the Trempealeau River than samples taken at the same time but upriver from where sediments from Hi-Crush Proppants entered the water, said Wisconsin Public Radio.

The latest round of DNR water sample test results were taken May 23, two days after Hi-Crush drained a holding pond filled with water used to wash frac sand in order to save a worker trapped underwater for two and a half hours.

The Trempealeau County Health Department issued a press release June 8 urging residents to avoid areas where orange sediment from the spill is present and rinse off after wading or swimming.

The metals present in the Hi-Crush spill are naturally occurring in the sandstone deposits being mined to produce sand products.