Nfld. & Labrador

Rennie's River greener than expected after dye test, says councillor

After Rennie’s River in St. John's turned green last Friday it caused quite the stir, but one St. John’s city councillor says the temporary change in the water isn't anything to worry about.

Danny Breen says didn't mean to scare residents, more info next time

Coun. Danny Breen says Rennie's River turned green because of dye pellets that were being used to track the route of storm sewers. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

After Rennie's River in St. John's turned green last Friday it caused quite the stir, but one St. John's city councillor says the temporary change in the water isn't anything to worry about. 

Coun. Danny Breen told CBC News that the Department of Public Works often uses dye pellets to track the path of storm sewers

He said the pellets are environmentally friendly and usually get washed out without altering a river's water colour. 

In this instance however, he said officials were forced to use more tablets than usual, and the water turned green. 

"What happened in this case, part of the track they were working on, it was because there was a hole in a pipe," he said.

"We had a lot of water that was leaving the pipe, and groundwater coming into the pipe." 

He said the concern was that if they didn't use enough pellets, they wouldn't be able to see any results. ​

Because of the long weekend, Breen said it took longer to figure out what was going on than it normally would have.

"Once the calls came in to our 311 line and through social media, we were able to track down quickly what was happening and put people's minds at ease," he said.

If the city has to use large amount of the dye tablets again, Breen said it will take steps to alert the public and put their fears at bay.

"In the case that we have to do anything extraordinary like that again we'll issue an advisory because we've seen it did create a bit of angst amongst people."

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