State health and environmental investigators are trying to track down the flow of dangerous fecal coliform bacteria into Drayton Harbor. The harbor is home to a flourishing shellfish industry that has to shut down during the winter rainy season because so much bacterial flows in.
Dakota Creek is one source so on Tuesday the team poured a harmless red dye into the creek to see how it flows into the damaged shellfish beds. They also tossed in flagged grapefruit to help find the dye as it dissipates and gets harder to see. The grapefruit will float for days.
After days of analysis they will be able to determine how much of a problem the creek is and how the currents carry the contamination. Then they can predict flows and try to eliminate pollution sources upstream.