River in eastern Slovakia turns orange

The village needs a solution before an ecological disaster.

Orange river SlanáOrange river Slaná (Source: G. Nagy)

The village of Nižná Slaná in south-east Slovakia has asked the state to solve a problem regarding the polluted river Slaná before an ecological disaster occurs.

The local municipality shared about it on social networks, adding that at least temporary solutions could be applied – filters or a cleaning system.

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Rusty river

“The rusty colour of the Slaná River worries more and more people and it affects a large area,” the municipality stated, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Water of such a colour can be also seen behind Tornaľa, which is 50 kilometres away from the shaft Gabriela, from which the orange water is flowing.”

On Friday, a meeting took place at the District Office in Rožňava and subsequently in the area of the former mining plant Siderit, which was attended by invited representatives of the local municipality, district office, environmental experts, representatives of the Environment Ministry and councillors.

They should have proposed a solution for cleaning the river and adequate measures to prevent it from reocurring.

“We as the municipality will, of course, develop pressure so a solution, even if temporary, will be put into practice as soon as possible,” the municipality Nižná Slaná declared, as quoted by TASR.

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Mining waters

The Slaná River turned orange in mid-February.

The reason is the outflow of mining waters from an iron-ore mine in the compound of the former mining company Siderit in Nižná Slaná.

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The authorities that monitor the situation in the river took samples of the water and are waiting for lab test results.

The mining company Siderit in Nižná Slaná functioned between the years 1975 and 2008 when it went bankrupt.

The state company Rudné Bane (Ore Mines) said that the company Siderit did not fulfil its commitments to eliminate mining works after mining activities were over. Therefor Rudné Bane took necessary measures in 2012.

Rudné Bane is currently working on a proposal to include groundwater outflows in the register of environmental burdens.

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