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Spill Turns River Red

August 21, 2014

ST. MARYS — A portion of the St. Marys River turned red on Thursday.

St. Marys Safety-Service Director Greg Foxhoven said an equipment failure at an industrial account on McKinley Road caused approximately 55 gallons of food grade red dye to be sent into the wastewater system of the city of St. Marys. After passing through the city's system, the water was then discharged into the St. Marys River — as is typical with the finished water at the facility.

"We've contacted the EPA and EMA and there is no environmental impact," Foxhoven told The Evening Leader. "Because of their equipment failure, it got into our system and passed through undetected and then into the river. There was no reason it would have been detected because it basically was just food coloring."

Foxhoven said the incident remains under investigation. He declined to identify the source of the spill.

"We will work closely with the EPA on what needs to be done and work with the account to make sure this doesn't happen again," Foxhoven said. "It's been documented."
 

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