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Clear Creek briefly had pink hue after 20 gallons of dye accidentally discharged into creek

pink water in clear creek
Posted at 11:32 AM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 13:32:37-04

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — The City of Idaho Springs has learned that Clear Creek temporarily had pink coloring in it earlier this week after a business accidentally discharged 20 gallons of dye into the waterway.

On Monday morning, the City of Idaho Springs Water Resource Reclamation Facility staff performed daily water sampling and noticed an unusual pink coloring in the treated water that was discharging into Clear Creek.

The internal samples at the facility were analyzed. Staff did not find any abnormalities. The samples were also sent to an outside lab for testing.

This was reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's spill hotline.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | March 16, 8am

In response and as a precaution, the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office notified users downstream about the pink coloring.

The City of Idaho Springs then began an investigation to determine the cause of the tint, which came to the facility from the municipal sewer collection system.

During this time, the city reported no adverse biological impacts in the creek. Staff are continuing to monitor this situation.

The city ultimately learned the following day, Tuesday, that a local business had accidentally discharged 20 gallons of concentrated dye into the sewer. It had been intermittently released from Sunday through Tuesday around 9 a.m., when city staff discovered the business was the source.

The ongoing internal testing does not appear to have caused any issues with the biological treatment operation at the facility or the Clear Creek environment.

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