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September 11, 2017

Here's why the Wissahickon Creek will turn green on Tuesday

Environment Science
09112017_Wissahickon_creek_green Credit/TU / ANS

The Wissahickon Creek will turn green on Tuesday.

If you happen to walk, run, bike or live by the Wissahickon Creek, there is no reason for alarm.

The creek will turn green in places on Tuesday – but it is just part of a routine check-up.

In an effort to investigate the health of the creek's ecosystem, environmental scientists from Temple University and The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will conduct experiments this month, beginning Tuesday in Fort Washington. Several day-long tests are planned.

From a spot between Morris Road and Lafayette Avenue, scientists will add two non-toxic, fluorescent dyes into the creek and track its movement downstream.The tracers will help the researchers to understand flowpaths within the stream and where stream metabolism occurs.

Wissahickon Creek rises in Montgomeryville, Montgomery County, and runs 23 miles or so. It divides Northwest Philadelphia, runs through Fairmount Park and empties into the Schuylkill River just north of the East Falls bridge.

The tests are being conducted in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and are funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.