Daldykan River, Russia. (Credit: Liza Udilova / Greenpeace)
After Russia’s Daldykan River mysteriously turned blood red, there seemed to be some confusion as to the cause. And there was a lot of blame being thrown around — some said iron deposits in the soil were at fault, while others argued that a spill from a nearby nickel company was more likely.
In response, the Norilsk Nickel company took to the web and posted pictures purporting to show that the river’s color was a normal bluish green. And those clashed with all the photos that Russian citizens were sharing on social media showing a bright red waterway.
Not long after, Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources released a statement possibly putting fault with the nickel company, noting “a possible cause of pollution of the river could be a breakthrough slurry pipeline.” Just a few days later, the company admitted responsibility for the shift seen in the Daldykan River.
The cause of the blood-red river water was sludge that came in after a filtration dam overflowed, according to a Norilsk Nickel release. The statement goes on to say that the iron salts deposited in the river will only cause short-term staining and don’t pose a health risk to humans.
But environmental activists dispute that claim, saying that the company’s massive size and ownership of the peninsula through which the Daldykan River runs has given it the ability to inhibit Ministry of Natural Resources officials.
Norilsk Nickel’s statement says that the company takes all necessary actions to assess polluted areas and eliminate the effects of pipeline operations by “sanitary stripping of the ground.”
Top image: Daldykan River, Russia. (Credit: Liza Udilova / Greenpeace)