Biodegradable dye used for water-system tests turns Willows Beach pools green

Bright-green pools of water seen Tuesday on Willows Beach are nothing to be concerned about, according to an Oak Bay official.

The colour is the result of dye used by the municipality to test connections between houses and the water system, said Dan Horan, director of engineering and public works for Oak Bay.

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Often when pipes need to be replaced or upgraded, the district will use the biodegradable dye, which enables staff to see the flow of water, to check that the connections are working as they should be.

The dye can be flushed down the toilet to ensure it ends up in the sanitary sewer system, or put into perimeter drains around a house to confirm it ends up in the storm drain system, he said.

When the dye shows up somewhere it’s not expected, it’s an indication a connection needs to be fixed, Horan said.

Because outfalls from the storm system are along the shore, the green dye sometimes shows up on the beach.

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