EAST LIVERPOOL - What residents and emergency personnel initially thought was an antifreeze spill in a creek along Shadyside Avenue Tuesday turned out to be harmless dye.
Liverpool Township police and firefighters responded to property owned by Roger Hamilton after his wife called to report a bright green substance in a creek. Hamilton has a chicken house beside the creek, and homes along that stretch of roadway also utilize wells, not the municipal water supply.
"I thought it was antifreeze," Hamilton said of the bright green substance that permeated the surface.
Morning Journal/Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert
This bright green substance is what was seen by a resident of Shadyside Avenue in Liverpool Township when he looked at the creek behind his property Tuesday. Emergency personnel responded and found it was not antifreeze as initially believed.
Fire Chief Mike Bahen concurred, saying police officers who arrived on the scene first also believed antifreeze had been dumped in the creek.
East Liverpool city police were notified about the substance since the creek flows toward the river, and Bahen said he had the Environmental Protection Agency prepared to respond when he learned the true nature of the substance.
"We were getting ready to boom it," Bahen said, referring to the process of placing absorbent materials across the creek to sop up the unknown substance.
However, after talking with a resident who lives upstream from Hamilton, officials learned the county road department had dumped green dye in a catch basin near his home in an attempt to locate pipelines due to problems with a driveway collapsing.
Bahen said, "They hadn't notified anyone," saying notification of the police or fire departments would have prevented the emergency response.
Bob Durbin, chief deputy engineer at the county engineer's department, confirmed that the dye was placed in the catch basin, saying, "I don't know that we've ever notified anyone. We put dye in the catch basin to see if it comes out. It doesn't happen very often."