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The Ohio EPA and USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) will be conducting a “time of travel” study in the Scioto River this week. This is a routine study that requires the use of a bright red fluorescent dye. The dye is not harmful, but its bright color may generate some phone calls. The dye appears brightest in the area it is first released which, according to the attached notice, will be in the Scioto River between Hayden Run Rd and State Route 315.


June 21, 2009
US Geological Survey
Ohio Water Science Center
6480 Doubletree Ave.
Columbus, OH 43229

To Whom It May Concern,

We are writing to inform you of work we will be doing on the Scioto River, in Columbus, OH in the near future. The probable dates for this work are between 6/23/09 and 6/26/09. The study area will include the river reach between Hayden Run Rd. and State Route 315.

We will be measuring stream time-of-travel data as part of a study being done in cooperation with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). To accomplish this, we will inject a fluorescent red dye (Rhodamine WT) into the stream as a tracer. Sensors will be deployed in the stream at selected points downstream from the injection site to measure and record the concentration of dye in the water as it passes.

Rhodamine WT dye is approved for use as a water tracer by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is harmless to people, fish, and plants at the concentrations used. The dye will turn the stream bright red at the injection site; however, the color will become increasingly less noticeable (and then visually undetectable) as the dye disperses and moves downstream. Concentrated dye will stain clothes so it is suggested that the public stay out of the stream where the dye is visible. For more details regarding the dye injection, please visit the USGS website for an overview of the project and for pictures. The project website can be found at: http://oh.water.usgs.gov/riverspill.htm.

We appreciate your cooperation in informing your employees as well as any member of the public that may contact you regarding the work that we will be doing. There is a reasonable potential that police, fire personnel, or other emergency response groups will be contacted by the public about the dye. We will inform those groups in advance of the dye-tracer study so that they are aware of our work and can reassure the public that there are no safety concerns. In addition, we will make every effort to call in advance the day before we do the injection to serve as a reminder.

We thank you for your cooperation. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding the dye-tracer study.


Jon Lageman
Civil Engineer, Project Manager
614-430-7748 office
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