Source of green Reedy River dye still unknown

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – If people were downtown over the weekend, they might’ve noticed the Reedy River looked a bit different.

Greenville Police say someone put a non-toxic green dye in the river on Saturday. The dye was contained from further travel by Hazmat, and the Department of Health and Environmental Control tested it. However, they still don’t know the source of the dye.

Credit: Jim Trimble

“It was highlighter green,” said Patricia Carson, the executive director of Friends of the Reedy River. “It was such a bright color. It was obviously not natural.”

An Upstate public works official says anyone can get the dissolvable dye tablets off the shelf of a supply store or online.

It’s typically used to track sewer leaks.

“It’s not designed to be dumped in massive amounts which could be problematic,” Carson said.

Greenville police are assuming it was a prank. They say the city had no official reason for the dye to have been put in the water.

However, Friends of the Reedy River say putting anything in a river requires approval from DHEC.

“So what they did, if this was done as a dump without a permit, is illegal,” Carson said.

Carson says even though it’s non-toxic, it speaks to a bigger problem in the Reedy.

“It is historically one of the most polluted rivers in South Carolina,” Carson said.

She showed 7News a blockage made of tree limbs and trash a few hundred yards downstream of Falls Park.

“It contributes to the economic and social vitality of our city, and we want individuals and the community to care,” Carson said.

The Duke Energy Fall Reedy River Sweep will be held September 16th from 8:30 to noon. They’ll be cleaning up the blockage and other parts of the river. Volunteers can check in at St. Matthews on Cleveland St. and the Swamp Rabbit Café.