White Rock’s ‘orange goo’ caused by elevated iron levels

White Rock’s ‘orange goo’ caused by elevated iron levels

‘No danger’ to aquatic life, environment: city

Orange-coloured outflow into Semiahmoo Bay last week was caused by “elevated levels of iron.”

According to information posted to the city’s website, lab results determined the colour cause, “and based on these results, the Ministry of Environment has confirmed that there was no danger to aquatic life or harmful impact on the environment.”

City and fire-department officials were alerted to “orange goo” on White Rock’s West Beach May 8.

The “brown, rusty-coloured material” was spotted flowing from the Anderson Street outfall just after 7:30 a.m., fire Chief Phil Lemire told Peace Arch News that morning.

It was believed at that time that the cause was some sort of organic material, as has been the cause in previous years.

An update confirming elevated iron levels was posted to the city’s website at 4:35 p.m. May 10.

The update also noted that the city had been working with the Ministry of Environment and Fraser Health regarding the incident; that the Canadian Coast Guard had responded and ruled out the presence of hydrocarbons; and that the city was still investigating potential sources of the discoloured water.

A news release was not issued, and no further updates had been added to the city’s website as of PAN’s press deadline Tuesday morning.

– Tracy Holmes