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Scientists Release Harmless Red Dye into Kansas River to Conduct Experiments

USGS scientists, releasing harmless red dye to conduct water flow experiments.

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) - This week, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the Kansas River this week. The dye-tracing study, which begins near Wamego, will provide researchers with a better understanding of how quickly water flows from one location to another. Water-resource managers use this information to effectively respond to potential critical events such as harmful algal blooms or contaminant spills that may make the water unsafe for the public. The Kansas River provides drinking water for multiple cities in northeastern Kansas and is used for recreational activities. The study is being conducted in cooperation with the cities of Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan and Olathe, as well as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Water Office, Nature Conservancy and WaterOne to improve understanding of streamflow velocities and travel times in the river. The study will consist of multiple experimental runs to optimize time-of-travel data collection by injecting the red-hued dye (non-toxic rhodamine) into the Kansas River during low, medium and high flow conditions. (Read more.)

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