While pink is a pretty color, water is at its best when it’s crystal clear. Officials in a Colorado city have identified concentrated dye as the culprit behind the unusual pink color in its treated water.
Idaho Springs said staff at its Water Resource Reclamation Facility first realized that the treated water being discharged into Clear Creek had an unusual pink coloration on March 13, 2023.
After a joint investigation was launched with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, they determined that the issue was caused by around 20 gallons of concentrated dye that had accidentally been dumped into the sewer system by a local business.
The pink dye had been introduced to the water through the municipal sewer system, causing the change in color to the water. “The dye had been intermittently released into the system starting on March 12 and was stopped on March 14,” the city said.
The city said the water traveling from the reclamation facility is likely to remain pink until all of the dye has passed through the sewer system.
“According to ongoing internal testing and observations, the dye does not appear to have caused any interruption to the biological treatment operation at the facility nor to have had any adverse biological impact on Clear Creek,” the city said.