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Follow-Up on Rogue River Dye Test

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NEAR WHITE CITY, Ore. — Three weeks ago, NewsWatch12 brought you exclusive video of a flood of red dye in the Rogue River, near White City.

NewsWatch12 recently learned that the dye test was a follow-up to a study done a year ago by fly fishing groups.

Done in October 2012, the study shows that immediately downriver of the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Rogue River seems to be choking on algae and other plants. These groups say they’re glad to see the city of Medford looking into the problem.

“And they did exactly what they should have done. They waited one year to when the same time of the year, and repeated the study. And they expanded the study and made it even larger to look at other things as well,” said John MacDiarmid, with Rogue Flyfishers.

MacDiarmid says for years it appeared the plant would have to quit dumping effluent in the river out of concerns over water temperatures. When DEQ relaxed that standard, environmentalists became concerned over the volume of effluent being dumped, about 17 million gallons a day.