Waterwise Wednesday: The Flow’in of the Green

Photo: AP/Jeff Roberson

Since 1962, the Chicago River has been dyed green in honor Saint Patrick’s Day. The Chicago Plumbers Union mixes 40 pounds of powdered vegetable-based dye into a quarter mile stretch of river that stays shamrock green for about 24 to 48 hours.

The dye is a secret recipe the plumbers originally developed to trace leaks in buildings. And, yes, the dye is environmentally friendly for the beavers and 70+ species of fish that live in the river year round.

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