Abundance of Water • “Water covers around 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. This is why Earth looks blue from space, and why it is often called the Blue Planet. Water is liquid in the oceans and forms solid ice caps at the ice caps. Water vapour is a gas in air. Humid places, such as rainforests, have a lot of water vapour.” http://www.factmonster.com/dk/science/encyclopedia/water.html
Abundance of Potable (Drinkable) Water http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
Agriculture • “The most important use of water in agriculture is for irrigation, which is a key component to produce enough food. Irrigation takes up to 90% of water withdrawn in some developing countries and significant proportions in more economically developed countries (United States, 30% of freshwater usage is for irrigation).” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
Drinking Water • “The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration; the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
Recreation • “Humans use water for many recreational purposes, as well as for exercising and for sports. Some of these include swimming, waterskiing, boating, surfing and diving.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
“Believe it or not, the average water usage per person per day is 200 gallons. Here's how... Showering wet down, soap up, rinse off = 4 gallons Brushing teeth wet brush, rinse briefly, = ½ gallon Shaving, fill sink basin = 1 gallon Washing hands fill sink basin = 1 gallon Tub bath minimal water level = 10 to 12 gallons Flushing toilet using a smaller tank = 4 to 6 gallons Dishwashing washing and rinsing in the sink = 5 gallons Automatic dishwasher short cycle = 7 gallons Washing machine short cycle with minimal water level = 27 gallons Outdoor watering average hose = 10 gallons per minute Leaks - even a small drip can add up to 25 gallons per day Remember, water is not cheap or limitless. Please use this natural resource wisely and save on your water bill.” Source: http://www.elmwoodpark.org/water/Facts.htm
What is your water usage? • Go to http://www.tampagov.net/dept_water/information_resources/Saving_water/Water_use_calculator.asp or find this site using www.google.com, search water usage calculator. • Take the water usage survey.
How can you conserve water? • Go to the Information Resources section on the left part of the water usage survey page. • Click on “Saving Water” • Click on “110 Ways to Save Water”
Critical Thinking: • Choose 3 ways you can conserve water. • Will you actually make these changes? Why or why not?
History • “Precious metal mining began in the Lefthand Watershed in the mid 1800’s; according to local historians, … The Argo Mine, along with hundreds of other hardrock mines in the watershed, was historically mined for Fluorspar until the mid-1920’s.” http://www.bouldercounty.org/rfp/2007/Argo_CRP.pdf
“Fluorite (also called fluorspar) is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride, CaF2. • Uses: • Steel production • Manufacture of opalescentglass, enamels and cooking utensils. • HF production” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flourite.jpg
History • Eventually the surface has been mined and the miners hit the water table. A plan was made to make a tunnel through the mountain. Vertical shafts lowered the water table and allowed the raw ore to be dropped down the shafts and processed at the Argo Mill.
“The Argo Tunnel was started from its southern terminus at Idaho Springs in September 1893, and reached its final length of 4.16 miles in November 1910, after several pauses in the work. The actual time spent driving the tunnel was nine years and seven months. The tunnel intersected nearly all the major mines between Idaho Springs and Central City.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Tunnel
“The mill was built at the entrance of the tunnel to process ore from the many mines drained by the tunnel.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Gold_Mine_and_Mill
“The tunnel operated until January 1943, when miners working on the Kansas Lode near Nevadaville blasted into a water-filled mine working, and a large slug of water flooded out the tunnel entrance, killing the four miners. Shortly after the accident, the federal government ordered all gold mines in the US to shut down, to free men and material to mine metals considered more essential to the World War II war effort. The Argo Tunnel never reopened.” Argo Tunnel 1910 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ArgoTunnel1910.jpg
The Argo Tunnel had an unforeseen lasting affect. • From the analytical chemistry of mine drainage, scientists have concluded that the major cause of high acidity of the water is the bacterially catalyzed oxidation of the mineral pyrite. This acidity stimulates the dissolution of many other sulfide minerals, resulting in the high concentration of metals such as copper and zinc. • http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://minerals.cr.usgs.gov/gips/images/argobmed.gif&imgrefurl=http://minerals.cr.usgs.gov/gips/na/drain.html&usg=___CIuS8Oma5YML7L0r7yIy5RtP0I=&h=320&w=209&sz=42&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=p2p6zfuPZalCgM:&tbnh=118&tbnw=77&prev=/images%3Fq%3DArgo%2BMine%2Bpolution%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1
“Contaminants and Health Impacts • Lead: premature birth and low birth weight; increased learning disabilities in children; brain and kidney damage; impacts to reproductive systems • Copper: Stomach and intestinal diseases • The health risks listed above can have impacts for children, infants and pregnant women.” http://www.bouldercounty.org/rfp/2007/Argo_CRP.pdf
“The US Environmental Protection Agency listed the tunnel as part of the Central City/Clear Creek federal Superfund site, and built a treatment system at the mouth to neutralize and remove heavy metals from the 700 gallon per minute acid mine drainage flow before it flows into Clear Creek. The treatment system began operation in 1998. The water treatment plant is adjacent to the ore mill on the west.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_Tunnel
Acknowledgements: • My knowledge of the Argo Mine comes from many fine field trips given by Chuck Paterson, Geologist.