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COUNTYWIDE FOCUS

COUNTYWIDE : Scientists to Use Dye to Track River Flow

October 24, 1994|IRA E. STOLL

Government scientists will pour fluorescent dye into the Santa Clara River on Tuesday in an experiment designed to reveal the river's inner workings.

The dye will be traced downstream from Piru Creek, providing water officials with information that will eventually help them schedule releases from the Santa Felicia Dam, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Eric Reichard said.

"We want to find out what happens to water in the river. Where does it infiltrate the ground? Where does ground water enter the river?" Reichard said.

Reichard said the test will involve a few gallons of the dye, which will appear red when poured into the river but will quickly become invisible to everything but scientific instruments.

The two- to three-day test will be harmless to the environment, officials said. The river water is eventually sold to residential and business customers by the United Water Conservation District.

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