A Clinton Township waterway that turned green over the weekend did so because of a dye to verify the illegal connection of a sump pump in the area and was not a toxic substance, Macomb County officials said Monday.
The discoloration of the Cranberry March Drain, south of 17 Mile Road and west of Garfield Road, was caused by a non-toxic dye used to check illegal sewer connections and discharges, work officials said. county audiences in a statement.
The dye will enter the Clinton River on Monday and dilute upstream, they said.
Township public works and firefighters were notified of the discoloration around noon Sunday and took emergency response protocols, County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said.
This included setting up booms to absorb downstream petroleum products, making contact with an environmental service contractor, and collecting water samples for analysis.
The county health department’s environmental health services division has also started to verify recent dye tests in the area. And the Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has been briefed and monitored the situation.
Authorities learned Monday morning that the township’s water and sewer service had tested a sump pump in the area on Friday and used a high concentration of dye.
“The township was doing dye testing because they thought there might be an illegal connection to the sanitary sewer, which they luckily discovered there was not,” Miller said. “They didn’t dilute the dye enough and some people thought it looked like the Chicago River (which is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day), it was so green. It is not toxic and does no harm to humans or animals. “
“There is no reason to be alarmed,” she said, adding that officials appreciated the public telling them about the fading.
Township supervisor Bob Cannon said in the statement that the township was checking on a tip that there was an illegal sump pump connection in the area.
Stain tests are used to trace underground sanitary wastewater and stormwater systems and check where plumbing from inside a building drains once the waste leaves a building, according to the release.
The dyes are not toxic and are sometimes compared to food dyes. Public works departments, municipalities, health departments, state, consultants and engineers usually perform these types of tests.
Contact Christina Hall: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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