Volume 93, Issue 70

Thursday, February 3, 1999


USC grills hopefulls

Mystery liquid causes concern

Access 2000 starts off with a bang

Study finds more stress in unmarried moms

Passion motivates Petrykowski's campaign

Sense of community tops Pressey's prez list



Mystery liquid causes concern

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Western's soil was bleeding green instead of purple yesterday, when a maintenance crew accidentally drilled into a pipe full of green liquid.

Cheryl George, a second-year environmental biology student who saw the spill, said she was unsure what substance was seeping out of the pipe and was a little concerned. "It [didn't] look so good," she said.

However, students who witnessed the unknown liquid overflowing from the ground between the Natural Sciences building and the Chemistry building need not be worried, said Mike DeJager, physical plant project co-ordinator at Western.

"You don't want anybody swimming in it, but as it stands now, there's no harm," DeJager said. He explained the greenish liquid, which was originally thought to be antifreeze or water with glycol in it, turned out to be nothing more than water tinted with food colouring.

DeJager explained the physical plant was drilling in the court yard between the two buildings for soil samples, in preparation for the construction of a new 700 seat building due to start in April.

"The water was green because food colouring was added. This was done so the water could be identified as chilled water versus drinking water," DeJager said. He added colouring the water is a common practice, used to identify what type of water runs through the pipes. DeJager also said the line was not currently being used, but still had water in it.

James Tait, a second-year chemistry PhD student who was standing near the cleanup crew, said he was not worried. "I don't think there's anything to be concerned about. I'm imagining it's a leak, but I don't smell any chemicals," he said.

Western chemistry professor Mike Mosely, who is also part of the chemical spill response team, said although he was not aware of the spillage, he did not think there was anything to worry about.

"Either Western was digging for oil and they found it, or it's probably antifreeze," Mosely said.

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