MADRID: A river in Spain turned bright green, sparking fears among the residents that it could be contaminated.
The authorities were quick to reassure residents the waters had not been infected.
The extraordinarily hue evoked memories of the way the Chicago River in the USA is deliberately turbed green every year for St Patrick’s Day.
The river began to change colour at its source in Andorra before spreading downstream to the Catalonia region of Spain last week.
Seu d’Urgell mayor Albert Batalla said the colouring was “entirely harmless, non-toxic and biodegradable” and had been intentional.
It was used, he said, as part of an investigation at the Arinsal water bottling plant.
“It is a harmless, non-toxic and bio-degradable dye that has been used for water research,” he said.
The plant was linked to a gastroenteritis bug that made thousands sick last year.
The Andorran Ministry of Health said the harmless dye was used to help identify the source of possible contamination and would have no environmental impact.