Ameren’s Taum Sauk Chemicals Change Black River From Brown to Aqua But Not Clear

Ameren is making much of its 500,000 gallon floculation treatment of the lower Taum Sauk reservoir to settle debris from the December 14 collapse that unleashed a billion gallon 12 minute Missouri tsunami on the normaly placid Black River.

The treatments changed the “Big Muddy” color of the Black River to aqua — but it is still not back to the crystal clear stream that was Missouri’s showpiece.

For three days starting Jan. 25, AmerenUE dumped about 70,000 gallons of alum and 430,000 gallons of sodium aluminate into the lower reservoir. Missouri DNR officials say they are unaware of any fish deaths as a result of the treatment.

Ameren got off lucky in the disaster. A dam at Lesterville held and kept the billion gallon wall of water from destroying the entire path of the scenic river.

Officials unsure when Black River will run clear again
February 4, 2006
Southeast Missourian

AmerenUE Is Using Flocculates to Remove Suspended Clay from Lower Reservoir
February 6, 2006
Ameren Official Site

Johnson’s Shut-Ins: From uncertainty to promise
February 5, 2006
Sprinfield News-Leader

Taum Sauk Lower Reservoir Before the Disaster (photos by Ameren)