Iron Sediments From Shuttered Mines Tint Local Waterways


Local resident Peter Schaetzchen paints the flat-bed canoe called a... News PhotoCanal,Canoe,Cargo Container,Civilian,Community,Container,Environmental Damage,Environmental Issues,Firewood,Germany,Horizontal,Pollution,Spreewald,TransportationPhotographer Collection: Getty Images News 2013 Getty ImagesLUEBBENAU, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Local resident Peter Schaetzchen paints the flat-bed canoe called a Kahn that he still uses for transporting firewood and other cargo in the many canals in the Spreewald region on April 17, 2013 near Luebbenau, Germany. The nearby Wudritz creek is heavily burdened with iron from the nearby former Schlabendorf open pit coal mine, which has since been turned into a lake called the Schlabendorfer See. Many creeks and small rivers that feed the Spree River have turned a rich orange or brown, sometimes even red, due to the sediments flowing from several former open pit coal mines. The Spreewald is a popular tourist destination known for its network of canals and local tour operators fear the sediment will turn the waters there orange as well, which could seriously impact the tourist seasons. Though the iron sediment is not poisonous, some local farmers claim they have been forced to filter the water they use to irrigate their fields, and many people report the disappearance of fish and other fauna. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)