Waters near Whidbey Island to be dyed red

OAK HARBOR, Wash. — Red dye may be seen in the waters around Oak Harbor for about 24 hours on Monday.

Washington State Department of Health scientists will be working in the waters around Whidbey Island from Sept. 9 to 14 to evaluate the movement of wastewater near the newly rebuilt Oak Harbor Clean Water Facility and to study the potential impacts to nearby shellfish growing areas.

Scientists from the DOH and Food and Drug Administration will add the dye to treated wastewater from the facility and track the water’s movement.

The dye will be added to the water on the morning of Monday, Sept. 12.

The fluorescent dye is nontoxic and is not harmful to people, marine life or the environment. It is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and FDA.

The main goal of the study is to evaluate the plant’s possible effect on the Saratoga Passage and Penn Cove shellfish growing areas.

DOH is responsible for the safety of commercially harvested shellfish in the state.