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VICTORIA — Horrified nature-lovers at Goldstream Provincial Park watched as the Goldstream River turned bright green late Wednesday afternoon.
The fluorescent green colouring appeared to start about 500 metres on the Victoria side of the entrance to the park and, over the course of an hour, the substance flowed down into the environmentally sensitive estuary.
By 5:30 p.m. the river, known for its dramatic salmon runs, eagles and other wildlife, was back to its normal colour.
Ministry of Environment teams were immediately sent to the area to investigate and members of Langford Fire Department collected samples for analysis.
No dead fish or animals had been found by early evening.
Earlier in the day a fountain beside Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford also turned bright green, said Langford Fire Chief Bob Beckett.
Officials from B.C.'s Ministry of Environment have determined that the substance used to turn the Goldstream River in Langford, B.C. neon green Thursday was non-toxic.
Lab results showed that the bright green hue was caused by a synthetic, organic compound called fluorescein, which is most commonly used as a fluorescent dye tracer in fluids.
Ministry staff say the substance is water soluble and don't think any fish or fish habitat were harmed by the incident.
Officials still don't know who dumped the fluorescein into the river.
Fire Chief Bob Beckett thinks the green waters may have been the result of an ill-conceived prank.
"In all likelihood it's a hoax. It may be a non-toxic substance but it's unfortunate that we had to utilize all sorts of resources to investigate this," he said.