AUSTIN (KXAN) – In an update to the Shoal Creek drinking water main break that turned some areas of the water green, Austin Watershed protection said hundreds more fish were killed than originally observed.
Austin Water responded to a “major” waterline break on March 14 at a portion of Shoal Creek that goes through central Austin. At the time, staff walked the creek and reported spotting roughly 30 dead fish floating in the aberrantly green water. In an update on the incident, Austin Watershed said that the death toll was actually somewhere around 300 fish.
Austin Watershed said that the storm Thursday pushed debris and dead fish toward an inlet where city staff could more accurately appraise the full extent of the spill impact.
Austin Watershed Department told KXAN the drinking water that spilled into the creek contained chlorine, which was what killed the fish. A spokesperson added their workers’ de-chlorination efforts helped remove residual chlorine to prevent larger fish from dying.
In terms of what turned the water green – no, it was not leprechauns.
“Similar to heavy rain, the pressurized water leaving the water main can result in a cloudy or muddy appearance of the water in Shoal Creek. These fine, suspended particles will settle out over the next few days,” a statement from Austin Watershed Protection read.
Austin Watershed Protection said field crews will go to the creek Saturday and Sunday to clean the area.