City of Chilliwack staffer Steve Clegg testing coloured water samples coming from a greenhouse property. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

What turned the water pink? B.C. greenhouse worker made mistake with flower dye

Chilliwack greenhouse owner says ‘no immediate danger’ from non-toxic dye released into waterway

It was a non-toxic flower dye from a greenhouse that made a Chilliwack waterway turn pink last week.

Leo Quik, who owns the greenhouse operation on McSween Road, said a worker was dyeing flowers for Easter when they sent the dye down the wrong drain.

Dark pink water could be seen dripping out of a large white pipe at the rear of the greenhouse, directly into the Camp Slough last Friday. A resident called the ministry of environment.

“The substance released into the waterway was completely non-toxic, and we confirmed that in discussions with the supplier of the product, which came from a reputable manufacturer,” said Quik.

READ MORE: Slough turns pink

He said he hired an environmental consultant to help them contain the discoloured water and plan out remediation options. “We believe there is no immediate danger now to either the local wildlife or the environment.”

Quik’s Farm, which has operating for 29 years, employs up to 70 people and emphasizes environmental sustainability with best practices for growing and handling.

“We have set handling procedures, and unfortunately that is where the mistake was made.”

A dead beaver found in the slough was sent for a possible necropsy, though Quik said they’re confident the animal did not die because of the pink water.

Test results with more information are expected this week.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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