What’s all the blue stuff around White Rock Lake?

Photo by Hal Barker
Photo by Hal Barker

Everyday lake users probably have noticed something different about White Rock Lake Park the past couple of days: a strange blue-green dye appearing around some of the trees, parking areas and pavilions.

It’s a chemical, Glyphosate, known more commonly as Rodeo, and it’s the same herbicide the city has been using for at least 10 years to control weeds in the park, says John Jenkins, assistant director of the parks department.

“The only difference this year is that we used a dye,” he says. “It just tracks your spray and makes sure you don’t over-spray. ”

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Jenkins says the chemical is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and is no different than what homeowners use on their yards. Some neighbors have expressed concern that the chemical could be harmful to pets and wildlife, but Jenkins says, it’s deemed completely safe to animals and humans.

“Some folks will dispute that,” he says, but it has been approved for waterways and areas like White Rock.

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Photos provided by neighborhood activist Ted Barker did alert the city to some other wrongdoing. The worker involved was mixing the chemical with water at an unauthorized location — the Winfrey Point Club House, no less — resulting in some spills and puddles nearby. Jenkins says he’s not aware of that happening before, but action has been taken in this case.

As for the dye, it should dissipate in about two weeks, quicker if there’s a good rain.

“After the first rain fall, it goes away just like that,” Jenkins says.

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