PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was the first full day on the Allegheny River for boaters this holiday weekend, but for some an unwelcome sight spoiled the day.

A small fish kill, along with other dead aquatic life, could be seen by fisherman and boaters in some areas of the river.

It’s the result of a commercial detergent, ethoxylated alcohol, which spilled into the river on Friday.

“It’s a real shame. River traffic has picked up. There’s a lot of boaters, a lot of fisherman around here,” said Mayor Thomas Wilkinson, of Roscoe Borough. “It’s just a shame to see this happen hopefully it will get cleared up.”

Officials with the Department of Environmental Protection say the waste management company that cleaned up a chemical spill on the Monongahela River on Wednesday transported the detergent to the Allegheny Valley Joint Sewage Treatment Plant for disposal. However, some 2,600 gallons got into the Allegheny.

“It should not harm humans, but we would really like people to stay away from it,” Don Bialosky, of the DEP, said on Friday. “They shouldn’t be swimming in this area. They should really try and stay away at this point. It will dissipate, dilute into the water and break down naturally.”

The area of the Allegheny River is near the treatment plant in Harmar.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials say none of the substance passed into Pittsburgh’s drinking water supply and the water is safe to drink.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
Department of Environmental Protection
Chemical Spills Into Allegheny River