Jefferson Parish explains green dye in Metairie canal

What's up with the green canals in JP?

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - A Metairie canal dyed bright green earlier this week had some thinking it was inspired by the Chicago river dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day.

"Unfortunately not in this case. That just happens to be part of our daily, in the course of our daily work," Jefferson Parish Drainage Director Mitch Theriot said.

Theriot explained the dye has nothing to do with the holiday.

"The green dye is, we use it to identify leaks in the drainage system in the sewer system," Theriot said.

He said all the drains end up in the canal, which is how the Metairie canal ended up this color. It's a procedure he says they use all the time.

“We have a lot of drain line sinkholes that we have to investigate, sewer problems that have to be investigated, so I would say it’s almost daily,” Theriot said.

The canal’s no longer bright green. Theriot said the dye doesn’t last very long.

"You know, 12 hours later, less than 12 hours later, it was gone," Theriot said.

“Oh wow, it’s so green. It reminds me of the river in Chicago when they dye it green. I mean, it’s neon. It’s like, what are they putting in the water?” Becky Claire said.

Like others, she thought it was for the holiday.

"Definitely surprised. I mean, it was really green and pretty shocking to see. I mean, immediately I thought, St. Patrick's Day, must be something fun, and it's not," Claire said.

Theriot said even if it was intentional, it wouldn't be sustainable.

“If we did try to dye the canals, and it rained and we had to pump it, it would all be gone anyway. Like today, we ran the pumps for a bit, so if we dyed it Wednesday, we’d have to dye it again,” Theriot said.

Copyright 2019 WVUE. All rights reserved.