Huffpost DC

Soapstone Valley Stream Is Running Green: What's The Source Of The Unusual Color? (UPDATED)

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Michael Grass
Michael Grass

WASHINGTON -- Soapstone Valley is picturesque arm of Rock Creek Park near the Van Ness-UDC Metrorail station.

It's a somewhat steep, forested and rocky ravine with a stream running down from drainage pipes in the vicinity of Connecticut Avenue and Albemarle Street NW to a spot near the confluence of Broad Branch and Rock Creek.

But Tuesday evening before sundown, The Huffington Post found Soapstone Valley's stream to be running mysteriously bright green.

We had taken a Tuesday morning hike on the Soapstone Valley Trail around 7 a.m. and the creek seemed normal.

But when we returned before sundown, we encountered the bright green water, as detailed in this slideshow.

Soapstone Valley Mystery Green Stream
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HuffPost is in the process of making inquiries with various authorities to figure out the source of the unusual color and whether it's harmful to those who come into contact with the stream in Soapstone Valley or downstream along Rock Creek. (We've also filed an online 311 request with the District of Columbia government.)

The D.C. Department of the Environment reports it is checking in on the matter.

DC Dept. of Environ.
Our inspectors are working with to find out what's wrong...

We'll update you when we know more and will check Soapstone Valley's condition on Wednesday morning. In the meantime, we're entertaining possible theories.

Mike DeBonis
It's always St. Paddy's day somewhere? RT : .@DDOE_DC Know why Soapstone Valley's creek is running green?

UPDATE, 8:45 a.m., Wednesday: We checked out the stream earlier this morning, and found that the bright green color had dissipated.

HuffPost DC
Update on the bright green stream: It is not green this morning.

UPDATE, 12:20 p.m., Wednesday: The D.C. Department of the Environment says the green substance is harmless, a dye used "to test for potential illicit discharges."

DC Dept. of Environ.
The green colored water in Soapstone resulted from a dye that was used to test for potential illicit discharges...

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