Iron Sediments From Shuttered Mines Tint Local Waterways


A piece of a tree pulled by workers out of the Wudritz creek lies... News PhotoEnvironmental Damage,Environmental Issues,Germany,Horizontal,Occupation,Pollution,Pulling,Sand,Spreewald,TreePhotographer Collection: Getty Images News 2013 Getty ImagesLUEBBENAU, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A piece of a tree pulled by workers out of the Wudritz creek lies covered in orange iron sediment next to the creek in the Spreewald region on April 17, 2013 near Luebbenau, Germany. The Wudritz 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)