The red dye that drained into the Boise River Wednesday evening was a food-grade product used by the Meadow Gold dairy to test its equipment and is “not harmful to people, fish and wildlife,” the dairy’s parent company said Thursday.
In a statement, Dean Foods said the dairy “reached out” to the Boise Public Works department “to let them know we were conducting the semi-annual test.” The company said it was “actively investigating” how the dye flowed into a storm drain and, from there, into the river.
“We are treating this with the utmost of importance and share the concerns of the community,” the company said in its statement.
On Wednesday, Boise Fire Department temporarily cleared the nearby whitewater park and an Ada County Highway District contractor pumped out the substance.
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Dean Foods said it had “contracted video work to explore where the leak may have occurred.”
“We will continue to fully cooperate with the appropriate agencies as they try to locate the actual source of any potential problems. Once it’s identified, we will work quickly to remedy the issue,” the company said.