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North Van pond filled with mutant slime? Nope, it’s just tracer dye

If you noticed neon green water near Parkgate recently, don’t worry – no three-eyed fish people are expected to emerge from it.

If there’s something strange (like a pond filled with green goo) in your neighbourhood – who you gonna call? Municipal staff.

Local resident Glen Schaefer, who said he often jogs through the area, snapped a picture of an ooze-coloured pond north of Parkgate Park last Friday (May 13). He noted that an adjacent creek flowing east was the same colour.

“That looks like what they do to Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day,” noted Keegan Casidy of North Shore Streamkeepers.

“It has to be dye,” he said. And according to staff at the District of North Vancouver, that’s exactly what it was.

Municipal workers conducted dye testing on the storm system at 3454 Anne MacDonald Way last Friday, DNV spokesperson Courtenay Rannard told North Shore News by email.

“This was completed in followup to a request for service, as the ground seemed overly saturated. Crews were investigating to ensure none of the DNV utilities were leaking,” she said.

“Through the course of their investigation, they placed tracer dye into a storm manhole, which reacts with water, causing it to turn fluorescent green.”

The colour allows crews to follow the water’s path, which helps staff determine if water was seeping out of the storm system. Rannard said that the section in question flows into the creek network, as much of the district’s storm network does.

As for any impacts of using the dye, Rannard said it's harmless to the environment and follows Environmental Protection Agency standards. It takes around two days to break down via exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun.

In this case, local residents shouldn’t expect high school students to turn into pizza-craving turtles. But if you do see what you think is a contaminated waterway, you can call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.