Chemical Spill Turns Missouri Creek 'Milk White'

State officials have ordered a paving company to clean up the mess.

Published Oct 5, 2016

Coldwater Creek in Hazelwood, Missouri is seen after it was turned white after a 'liquid concrete additive' spill.  (KSDK-TV)
Coldwater Creek in Hazelwood, Missouri is seen after it was turned white after a 'liquid concrete additive' spill. (Image Via KSDK-TV)

A paving company in St. Peters, Missouri, has been identified as the guilty party in a chemical spill that turned a creek white.

The state Department of Natural Resources said in a statement that Pavement Solutions was responsible for the spill affecting Coldwater Creek in Hazelwood, which prompted reports from concerned residents:

The contamination resulted from an accident involving a truck that was transporting the product on McDonnell Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 30. Pavement Solutions contacted the department’s Environmental Emergency Response Spill Line following the Sept. 30th release but indicated the spill had been properly cleaned and disposed.

On Sunday, Oct. 2, the department’s Environmental Emergency Spill Line received complaints of a milky-white substance in Coldwater Creek at approximately 10:40 a.m. The department sent staff to the location to observe the creek and take samples for analysis. The department also began to examine industries and other projects in the area to identify a potential source.

Residents said the creek looked "pure milk white" following the spill, while also radiating a strange smell.

According to an abatement order issued by the department, the spill released "approximately 2,000 gallons of a liquid concrete additive" called Modifier A/NA. Despite the smell, officials said the chemical has "a low toxicity level for human and aquatic life."

Regardless, the company was ordered to not only clean up its mess, but to provide daily updates to the department regarding the process and to monitor the creek afterwards.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.

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