Northern Illinois University Police were informed of a “milky” discoloration of water in the creek leading to the East Lagoon at around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
NIU Environmental Health and Safety, NIU Heating Plant personnel and the DeKalb Fire Department collaborated with NIU Police to investigate the incident and found that waste water from a boiler in the West Heating Plant was drained into a storm drain, which emptied into the creek that runs to the East Lagoon. The water contained a non-toxic, non-hazardous biodegradable descaling solution which goes by the brand name Rydlyme. A pH test of the creek water revealed normal levels.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources were notified of the incident. There have been no reports of negative impact to wildlife, and the creek has returned to its normal color.
NIU Environmental Health and Safety will continue to monitor the situation.