Piscataqua River Dye Study to Begin at Newington and Pease October 27th to 30th

(Newington, N.H. – Oct. 23, 2009) – Scientists and engineers from EPA’s New England Regional Laboratory, together with staff from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) will begin conducting a dye tracing study on October 27th.

The scientists will be tracking the flow and dispersion of water in the Piscataqua River from the Pease and Newington Wastewater Treatment Plants upstream into Great Bay, New Hampshire as well as downstream in the Piscataqua River through the communities of Newington and Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine.

NHDES will produce dispersion maps of the Piscataqua River near Newington from the combined Pease and Newington wastewater treatment plant outfall. Information from this study will be used to aid in the determination of shellfish harvest closure areas.

Rhodamine WT dye will be released the morning of October 27th at the Pease and Newington Wastewater Treatment Plants for a period of 48-72 hours. As a result of the injection, portions of the Piscataqua River may turn reddish in color for a brief time through the communities of Newington, Kittery and Portsmouth; however, the dye is not harmful to people or the ecosystem.

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