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Bright green creek in Markham alarms resident who struggled for answers

'They didn't know anything about it,' resident says about city, ministry
April 4, 2018
By Tim Kelly

A Markham resident who lives along Exhibition Creek was shocked Tuesday morning to find the water flowing behind her Joseph Street home had turned bright green.

Annemarie Reininger, who lives on Joseph Street, right on the creek, wondered if she was seeing things when she looked out the window and saw the shamrock green creek.

"The creek runs right by my backyard. The City of Markham told me to call the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change spills line to report it. They didn't know anything about it," Reininger said Tuesday afternoon.

The water, which turned green around 10:30 a.m., was back to normal colour by 3:30 p.m., but Reininger still had plenty of questions about what substance had turned it green.

And she was having trouble getting answers.

She finally got an answer late Wednesday night through Markham Ward 4 Coun. Karen Rea.

"The (green) dye used is food grade which does not cause any harm to fishery in the creek. It was from a contractor hired by the Region for their trunk sewer repair on 16th Avenue. The city and the region are dealing with it," said Rea in an email to Reininger.

Still, she wonders why it took some 24 hours to get information.

Attempts to get comments from the city and the ministry were not successful by deadline.