Why is the Harpeth River red?

Several Franklin residents reported an unusual color to the well-known river Tuesday morning.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 9:36 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 11:42 AM CDT
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WSMV) – Those visiting the Harpeth River this week might notice something unusual about the 115-mile river.

A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation-approved contractor completed a dye test in the Harpeth River near Forrest Crossing on Monday, turning what’s usually a greenish, clear body of water to blood orange, according to the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency.

The dye is a non-hazardous material and there’s no need for concern, according to county officials. Jill Burgin, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the dye is used for a water flow test. Burgin said the dye didn’t dissipate as quickly as it should, but the river should return to normal soon.

The Harpeth River runs through Middle Tennessee.