During a visit to the area, Governor John Hickenlooper stressed that despite the spill, the river is getting back to normal — a point he attempted to emphasize by drinking water straight from the Animas.
The images of him slugging down mouthfuls of river water are cringe-inducing, particularly given shots of the river in the immediate wake of the wastewater discharge.
Here's an example.
However, Hickenlooper wasn't quite so cavalier with his health as it might have seemed at first blush. Turns out he put a purification tablet in the bottle and waited half an hour before pulling from it.
Drinking stuff that causes most of us to recoil has become something of a go-to move for Hickenlooper.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE...
Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.