CLINTON TWP, Mich. (FOX 2) - Residents in a Clinton Township subdivision were concerned over the weekend when they looked at Cranberry Creek and noticed the water was a very vibrant green but the county and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) say there was no cause for concern.
According to Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, the creek turned neon green after a non-toxic was used to check for illegal sewage connections and discharges. Miller said Clinton Township Water and Sewer Department had tested a sump pump in the area on Friday and used a higher concentration of the dye than was needed.
The good news is that the dye is non-toxic to animals, humans, or the environment.
"The township was doing dye testing because they had thought there might be an illegal sanitary sewer connection, which they, fortunately, found out was not the case. They didn’t dilute the dye enough and some people thought it looked like the Chicago River, it was so green. It’s non-toxic and doesn’t hurt humans or animals," Miller said.
The creek runs behind Susan Biernat's home and she said it's typically a drab brownish color. While there was no odor, she said she did notice a change in wildlife with the green water.
"Yesterday we had so many ducks here, all kinds of birds, and there's nothing," said Biernat.
Residents contacted the city and Macomb County put out booms downstream in case the substance was oil-based. An environmental services contractor was contacted and collected water samples for analysis. EGLE and the Macomb County Health Department checked to see if any dye tests were performed in the area. That's when they learned of Clinton Township's test.
"The township Water and Sewer Department had the right intention as we always do. In this case, that’s protecting the public and environment and being proactive by checking on a tip that there was an illegal sump pump connection in the area," Clinton Township Supervisor Robert Cannon said.
The dye will enter the Clinton River on Monday and is diluting upstream.