Eco-safe dye to track waste­water dis­charge along St. Mary’s River

The Enterprise - - Front Page -

Sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers from Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment’s Shell­fish Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­gram, to­gether with staff from the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Shell­fish San­i­ta­tion Pro­gram, will be­gin con­duct­ing a hy­dro­graphic dye di­lu­tion study on Tues­day, Sept. 11. They will be track­ing the flow and dis­per­sion of waste­water dis­charg­ing into the St. Mary’s River and the Po­tomac River from the Web­ster Field An­nex Waste­water Treat­ment Plant.

In­for­ma­tion col­lected dur­ing this study will be used by MDE to eval­u­ate the im­pact of waste­water dis­charges on shell­fish grow­ing ar­eas, and will help sci­en­tists de­ter­mine where shell­fish may be safely har­vested.

There is one 12-hour dye in­jec­tion pe- riod sched­uled dur­ing the study. Dur­ing this time, Rho­damine WT dye will be re­leased from the Web­ster Field treat­ment plant be­gin­ning about 10 a.m. on Sept. 11 and will con­tinue un­til about 10 p.m. As a re­sult of the dye in­jec­tion, por­tions of the lower St Mary’s River in the gen­eral vicin­ity of St. Ini­goes Creek, as well as the Po­tomac River, may turn red­dish in color for a brief time and will be vis­i­ble from the shores along the im­me­di­ate area of the waste­water treat­ment plant’s dis­charge. This dye is not harm­ful to peo­ple or the ecosys­tem, ac­cord­ing to MDE.

For more in­for­ma­tion about MDE’s shell­fish mon­i­tor­ing, visit https://mde.mary­land.gov/pro­grams/Mary­lan­der/fis­hand­shell­fish/Pages/in­dex.aspx.

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