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Green pond remains a mystery

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By Tris DeRoma

Park officials suspect a bit ‘o Irish celebrations might have spilled over into Ashley Pond overnight and turned the water green in one section. 

The public was kept away from part of the pond Monday morning as Los Alamos police investigate what type of material was released into the water that resulted in the color change.

Police responded at 10 a.m. Monday to reports of a liquid hazardous materials call at Ashley Pond Park. 

Parks Superintendent Jeff Humpton and his crew were already on the scene, taking samples of a green substance that was concentrated in a particular section of the pond. 

Parks officials have blocked off the area and are asking residents to keep their pets away until it is determined what the substance is. Preliminary tests show that it is not antifreeze. 

“This is a first for me,” Humpton said. Some crews speculated that it might be non-toxic green dye, left over from a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. 

Los Alamos County Safety Coordinator Eric Edmonds said more test have to be done to make sure.

“We are not sure what it is, but a quick check has been encouraging,” Edmonds said. He also said they have not seen any dead fish or other animals in the area.

According to Los Alamos County Public Information Officer Julie Habiger, test results from the county risk management office are still out. 

“The Parks Supervisor reported this morning that he is still awaiting water quality test results from Risk Management before taking any further action to pump the water from the pond inlet,” Habiger said.

Los Alamos Police Department Spokesman Cmdr. Preston Ballew said they would wait to see if any damage was done to the pond or the wildlife habitat before they pursued suspects and charges. 

“Unless it’s been damaged, we are not going to even take a report on it,” Ballew said.