Despite costly cleanup, dyeing prank at Myriad Gardens appears harmless

Green dye dumped in the water at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City appears to be harmless. Officials say they had spent $2,500 to $3,000 on cleanup and $710 on water sampling, and had 60 man-hours invested in the cleanup project by mid-day Wednesday.
by William Crum and Kyle Fredrickson Published: March 19, 2014

The green dye that discolored water in the ponds, streams and waterfalls at the Myriad Botanical Gardens appears to be harmless.

But cleaning up after what’s being seen as a St. Patrick’s Day prank is going to be expensive.

Someone dumped a product called fluorescein into the small waterfall in the northeast corner of the downtown Oklahoma City park early Monday.

The stuff is a reddish-orange powder, but it turns green when it hits water.

Because the Myriad Gardens’ water features are interconnected, the green tint spread throughout the park.

Lab tests show the concentrations in the water are not toxic, and the ducks and other park animals appeared Wednesday to be in fine shape. Water in the pond under the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory was still green.

Hopes are that an operation to pump out most of the green water and replace it with fresh water can begin Thursday, said Christine Eddington, a park spokeswoman.

That will involve pumping out about 1.5 million gallons of discolored water, said Matt Maly, the park’s facilities director. The pond will be replenished with city water and water from a spring beneath the pond, he said.

Maly said the cleanup will include pressure washing — with specialized equipment — rocks that were discolored when the still-unidentified vandals dumped the dye into the water.

Reddish-orange spots on the street, gravel, sidewalk and a stone wall enabled officials to track the path the vandals followed.

Whoever it was parked nearby, dragged or carried the dye to the waterfall, and dumped it over a stone wall into the water.

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by William Crum
Reporter
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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by Kyle Fredrickson
OSU beat writer
Kyle Fredrickson became the Oklahoma State beat writer for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com in July 2014. A native Coloradoan, Fredrickson attended Western State College before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. Fredrickson...
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