By Bethany Gleave
A commuter caught on camera the moment a stretch of river turned LUMINOUS GREEN last week – in a scene ‘out of a comic book’.
The usually murky waters of the River Aire in Leeds, West Yorks, stopped passers-by in their tracks as it glowed bright green during the Monday morning commute.
Thinking it was a toxic spill or even ‘something out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ollie Sharp couldn’t resist capturing the bizarre scene on camera.
The 27-year-old’s footage shows what looks like a large area of the river full of flurescent ‘slime’ glowing brightly from under a bridge in stark contrast to the rest of the water.
However after reporting his fears to the Environment Agency, Ollie was relieved to discover it was in fact a dye put there by them to investigate pollution.
Ollie, a customer service assistant for an insurance company, said: “I was on my way to work and I just thought ‘what the hell is that?’
“I’d got to the section of river near Water Lane and Bridge Street and it caught my eye.
“I thought it was really strange, I had never seen this before, the river is usually really murky when I walk past so I got my phone out and took a picture of it.
“A lot of people started mentioning the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to me saying it could be them in the river.
“It does look like something straight from a comic book.”
Worried that the stretch of river near Bridgewater Place and Water Lane, may have been contaminated Ollie contacted the Environment Agency.
He said: “When I saw the water I took pictures and emailed it straight over to the Environment Agency just in case someone had been dumping stuff in the river.
“I thought it could have been toxic so they needed to know.
“Luckily it turned out to be just dye, they were tracing pollution in the water, so they had put a specialist dye in it. The environment agency knew all about it.”
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency monitors and improves water quality to benefit communities and the environment.
“We can reassure people that this is a bright but harmless substance.
“The very visible dye is used to help trace the way water flows, it was being used in a controlled way to help identify and investigate any possible pollution.
“The investigation into the River Aire is currently live so we can’t share further details at this point.
“The Environment Agency monitors water quality and investigates possible pollution in rivers to take action to improve the health of rivers.
“Across the country and along the coastline at popular bathing beaches we work to identify one off or regular sources of pollution to address the problem and ensure water quality is good.
“We test water quality at beaches regularly and publish the results online, we encourage the public to view these on our online map the Bathing Water Data Explorer.”