A U.S. Geological Survey river gauge in Farmington that recorded the Animas River flowing at nearly non-existent levels was the result of human error, the scientific agency said Friday.
Fletcher Brinkerhoff, a supervisory hydrologic technician for the USGS in Albuquerque, said the reading of 0 cubic feet per second at the gauge was the result of incorrect information entered into the USGS’s database.
The Durango Herald reported about record-low reading in a Page 1A story Friday.
Still, water levels the past few weeks have been incredibly low, Brinkerhoff said, hovering around 5 cfs.
“For some people, 5 cfs is 0 cfs,” he said. “That is really low.”
Technicians for the USGS visit each river gauge about once a month to make sure the stations are working correctly. It was on one of these visits that a staffer accidentally entered wrong data into the USGS system.
The record has been corrected to properly reflect flows on the Animas River, just above its confluence with the San Juan River, Brinkerhoff said.