Alarm after river in Pyrenees turns fluorescent green

Fiona Govan
Fiona Govan - [email protected]
Alarm after river in Pyrenees turns fluorescent green
Residents in Seu d’Urgell were alarmed to see the river had turned green. Photo: RadioSeu / Twitter

Authorities sought to reassure people living on the banks of Valira River after its waters turned a vivid green on Thursday.


The emerald green tint was not an early celebration of St Patrick’s Day – as is seen in Chicago each March 

The river began to turn green at its source in Andorra before spreading further downstream to the Valira valley in Catalonia.

Albert Batalla, the mayor of Seu d’Urgell, a town on the banks of the Valira issued a statement assuring residents that the dye was “entirely harmless, non-toxic and biodegradable” and had been used as part of an investigation at the Arinsal water bottling plant.

The plant was last year traced to be the source of a gastroenteritis bug that affected thousands of people across Catalonia who drank contaminated water from office water coolers.

Andorra’s Ministry of Health confirmed that the harmless dye had been used to help identify the source of possible contamination and would have no environmental impact.

But it makes for some dramatic photos:




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