Orange Creek?

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Last Sunday May 4, the Creek was an uncharacteristic bright orange color. Investigators traced the source of the strange color to the Foothill Parking Lot (near the Greek Theater). This was the scene of an annual student festival in which colored cornstarch was flung at fellow celebrants with the intent of covering each other in bright colors. Several thousand students participate in this event each year and steps taken by organizers in previous years to block area storm drain inlets have prevented releases of wash water to the creek. This year, even though organizers believed they were taking steps to prevent discharges into the creek, the measures proved inadequate. Campus staff and event organizers are taking steps to avoid this situation in future years.

Any release of drinking water into the creek is a potential death sentence for aquatic life. This is because our drinking water contains chloramines, which is less toxic to humans than chlorine but deadly toxic to aquatic life, particularly fish. Remember this BEFORE the next time you wash your car in the street! Our street drains dump directly to the creek. Protect nature by becoming aware of these connections between our daily urban life and the natural world we live in. Thanks!!!

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