The Philadelphia Water Dept. is monitoring a spill of a non-hazardous green tracing dye in a Montgomery Co. tributary of Tacony Creek that was reported to the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection this morning, Friday, March 24, 2023.

PWD reported the incident to the Delaware Valley Early Warning System to alert water users in the Delaware River.

We will continue to track the dye, but do not believe it will impact drinking water intakes at this time.

The dye is a common product used to determine the source of water leaks and is not a threat to health. Approximately 0.5 pounds were spilled near Baeder Creek in Jenkintown Township. Rain and river currents are expected to flush the dye from the area within the next 24-48 hours.

This post will be updated with any additional information. To get alerts about drinking water quality, sign up for Ready Philly notifications.

About Delaware Valley Early Warning System

The Delaware Valley Early Warning System (EWS) is a private, web-based emergency communication system created to protect our drinking water by providing rapid notification to subscribers in the lower Delaware River watershed following events that could impact water quality. More than 300 subscribers, representing 50 organizations, currently use the Early Warning System. Users include representatives from public and private drinking water utilities, industries withdrawing water from the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, and representatives of government agencies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Pa. DEP) provided initial funding in 2002, and EWS went online in 2004.

EWS components include:
  • Computer telephony
  • Advanced GIS functionality
  • Remote data collection and transmittal equipment
  • Data loggers [Data-logging device network]
  • Fully automated integration with commercial emergency mass notification systems Enterprise-level email servers
  • Website security infrastructure
  • Non-tidal and tidal time-of-travel models
  • Plume time-of-travel models
  • Data warehouse with user-friendly search functions

Since 2005, over 500 events have been reported through EWS, including chemical and fuel spills, water main breaks, sewage bypass flows and spills, pesticide spraying, and truck and train freight accidents.