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City 'dyeing' to study Whitson River

Weather permitting, today the city will place “a safe, environmentally friendly fluorescing red dye into the Whitson River,” to test the effect of discharging treated effluent from a wastewater plant.
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Weather permitting, today the city will place “a safe, environmentally friendly fluorescing red dye into the Whitson River,” to test the effect of discharging treated effluent from a wastewater plant. File photo.
Weather permitting, today the city will place “a safe, environmentally friendly fluorescing red dye into the Whitson River,” to test the effect of discharging treated effluent from a wastewater plant.

The dye will be place in the river downstream of Lavallee Road, where Azilda Creek meets the Whitson River. The dye will temporarily turn the water a reddish-colour, the city said in a news release.

“This activity is known as a dye tracer test, and it is a common procedure used to study the mixing of treated wastewater and river water where a wastewater treatment plant discharges to the environment,” the release said.

“The test will provide information to ensure treatment plant improvements are built to comply with the Province of Ontario water quality policies.”

The test will take several hours while measurement and visual observations are made at a several locations in the river. The river will temporarily appear red for some distance downstream of Azilda Creek. The dye will dilute quickly as it moves downstream, eventually becoming invisible.

“The dye is harmless to aquatic life and to individuals who may rely on the Whitson River for their water supply or recreational uses,” the release said.

“The dye tracer test is a component of the Class Environmental Assessment for the possible upgrade of the Azilda Wastewater Treatment Plant.”



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