Bayou Lafource turns red for DEQ testing

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 7:35pm

If you're seeing the color red along Bayou Lafourche, don't be alarmed. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is studying the water flow of the bayou in Donaldsonville and it takes red dye to do it.

Most Donaldsonville residents FOX44 spoke with Tuesday have the same reaction to the red color of Bayou Lafourche.

"I saw the red dye it did look weird," said Donaldsonville Resident, Randy Capello.

There's no need to worry, Louisiana's DEQ says it's part of a series of tests that will help keep drinking water safe.

"My grandfather told me before he passed away that Donaldsonville had some of the best drinking water in the state and everyone would come back here for the water," said Capello.

The test starts with three gallons of red dye injected in the water. Then the dye flows through a monitor that collects data.

"The dye is the true test and you will get the exact travel time," said DEQ’s, David Greenwood.

They are testing the flow patterns and how they're impacted by two pumps in the area.

"So if some kind of chemical or pollution gets into the stream they will know when to take off their water intakes and turn them back on based on this information were going to give them with this dye cloud," noted Greenwood.

They injected the dye around 8:05 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19 and they say it will reach the end of the 16 mile stretch in about 4 days.

Residents say although the color was alarming at first, they know it's all worth it in the end.

"I think it's good if it's going to benefit the future 'cause you know, love Bayou Lafourche with a passion. I’ve been fishing on the bayou for a long time," noted Capello.

DEQ says this test will help the agency determine how to respond to the area when there's flooding or a major storm.

FOX44 is told the dye is non-toxic and will never make it into the drinking water supply. There will be a second round of dye tests this summer.


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