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Concrete dye colors Connellsville creek

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 10:38 a.m.

A mysterious blue substance that discolored a Fayette County creek has been identified as concrete dye, which according to one official is usually biodegradable.

The unnatural blue color was clearly visible on Wednesday afternoon in the creek along Buttermore Boulevard in Connellsville Township, near Meidel's Restaurant and Grasso's Greenhouse.

John Poister, spokesman with the state Department of Environmental Protection, said a county hazmat team traced the source to a house on Breakneck Road in the township, where they determined it was improperly disposed of concrete dye.

Poister said an investigation is ongoing to ensure the dye did not pose a hazard to drinking water.

“We know where it started, we know what it was, but we don't know exactly how it ended up in the creek,” Poister said.

A woman at the house on Breakneck Road, Linda Carlton, said the dye was used to tint concrete for a basement game room. She said the dye was placed in a container, which was then taken to Stone & Company in Connellsville and filled with concrete.

Carlton said some of the dye spilled out when too much concrete was placed in the container.

A man who answered the phone at Stone & Company's concrete plant in Connellsville said the company would have no comment.

Guy Napolillo, director of the county's Emergency Management Agency, said the homeowners were cooperative when the hazmat team traced the dye to their residence. He said most concrete dyes are biodegradable.

Poister said tests will be conducted to ensure the dye did not contain anything that would have been harmful to marine life or drinking water.

Poister identified the creek as Connellsville-Breakneck Run. Napolillo said it empties into Mounts Creek.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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