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Health, Science, Environment

A Creek In East St. Louis Has Turned White, Authorities Investigating Why

 A person prepares to retrieve a sample from Schoenberger Creek. A preliminary analysis of water taken near 79th and St. Clair showed the problem was “nothing major,” just water.
Derik Holtmann
/
Belleville News-Democrat
A person prepares to retrieve a sample from Schoenberger Creek on Monday. A preliminary analysis of water taken near 79th and St. Clair showed the problem was “nothing major,” just water.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

Officials were investigating on Monday why a creek that runs between Belleville and East St. Louis had turned white.

A miles-long portion of Schoenberger Creek turned a whitish color. East St. Louis city workers were examining the creek at St. Clair Avenue and 79th Street shortly before 6 p.m.

East St. Louis Fire Chief Jason Blackmon said St. Clair County Special Emergency Services also responded. The volunteer agency assists first responders in emergency cases such as the release of potentially hazardous materials into the environment.

A preliminary analysis of the water showed the problem was “nothing major,” Blackmon said, but the city plans to call the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to request further testing.

Firefighters first responded to the creek at around 3:30 p.m., and by early evening the color began fading, Blackmon said.

County emergency management did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

Kelsey Landis and Derik Holtmann are reporters with the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

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