Red Dye Test Causes Plant Shutdown

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NEAR WHITE CITY, Ore. — Following up on a story you first saw here on NewsWatch12 last week, the dye used to measure the flow of treated water from the Medford Sewage Treatment Plant forced a brief shutdown at the Grants Pass Water Treatment Plant.

Last Wednesday, Medford officials dumped 15 gallons of a non-toxic dye into treated water lagoons to see how far it dispersed into the Rogue River.

They say they never expected the dye plume would stay intact all the way to Grants Pass by the next day. When Grants Pass Water Treatment officials noticed an unusual stain in their filters early Thursday, they shut down the plant, just in case.

“Because it was something so unusual, that the treatment process wasn’t really liking it, we went ahead and shut down for a little bit, until we could run some checks and figure out if there was any risk to water quality, which there was not,” said Treatment Plant Superintendent Jason Canady.

Medford officials had notified DEQ and fish and wildlife of the test, but not city users like Gold Hill and Grants Pass. The Gold Hill City Manager says he accidentally found out while talking with someone from DEQ, who mentioned the Medford test.


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  1. Ed says:

    Sure they can dump dye in the river and turn the whole river red, But we dredgers cant put a little silt in the water, what B.S.

  2. Craig says:

    Yes, they can dump some inert dye into a ‘treatment plant.’ They did not dump it directly into the river. This dye is non-toxic and turned the ‘treatment water’ or ‘poop water’ red so that it can be confirmed that none of that is getting into YOUR drinking water. The WHOLE RIVER was not red as you state above. You are exaggerating sir.
    Dredging is hardly ‘putting a little silt in the water.’ You are removing river bed in the process, hopefully to make the river save for navigation.
    I have no problem with dredging, I have no problem with the dye. But I do have a problem with people who do not read, yet feel inclined to comment.
    Go dredge the treatment plant, you probably would think you are in the river.

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