Cold Water Creek

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Cold Water Creek is a tributary of the Missouri River in St. Louis County in the U.S. state of Missouri.[1] It is known for having been contaminated with radioactive wastes.


The creek runs through the towns of Florissant, Hazelwood, Black Jack, Spanish Lake, St. Ann, Berkeley, and Ferguson, Missouri.[2] According to St. Louis Magazine, "It runs past schools, golf courses, and soccer fields."[2]


The name "Cold Water Creek" is a translation of the original French name Rivière de L'eau Froide.[3]

During World War II, Mallinckrodt Chemical Works was under contract with the United States War Department to process uranium for the Manhattan Project.[2][4] Mallinckrodt stored uranium, which contaminated the creek.[2][4]

In August 2015, the United States Army Corps of Engineers admitted that they found thorium-230 in the creek.[5] In January 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the high rate of cancers in the area.[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Cold Water Creek
  2. ^ a b c d Hartmann, Ray (May 22, 2013). "The Poisoned Children of Coldwater Creek: St. Louis' nuclear legacy may be graver than anyone knows". St. Louis Magazine. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  3. ^ "St. Louis County Place Names, 1928–1945". The State Historical Society of Missouri. Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Eleftheriou-Smith, Loulla-Mae (October 28, 2015). "Coldwater Creek, St Louis: The area of Missouri under investigation after 'unusual' numbers of rare cancers found". The Independent. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  5. ^ Barker, Jacob (August 19, 2015). "Army Corps confirms radioactive contamination in yards by Coldwater Creek". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved January 2, 2016.

Coordinates: 38°49′54″N 90°13′08″W / 38.83166°N 90.21894°W / 38.83166; -90.21894