DALLAS -- The Dallas Marshal's Office is investigating the source and substance of a pollutant found in a drainage ditch in the back of a local business.
Early Saturday morning, the Dallas Police Department's helicopter flew over the neighborhood east of Fair Park when the crew spotted what looked like a bright red pond.
They reported it to the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Dallas Marshal's Office, which started its investigation. The crew also took a picture and tweeted it, which drew a big response online.
It turns out, the ditch is on the property of Texas Totes and Barrels. No employees were on site Monday afternoon, and the owner has not returned our calls for comment.
What we did find was a hazardous materials cleanup company hard at work.
"It was a discharge into a drainage ditch that would ultimately lead into White Rock Creek," Interim City Marshal Paul Hansen said. "There’s some indication that it’s a concentrated detergent, similar to what you’d use in a car wash."
Testing will confirm what it is in two weeks, which could lead to an arrest and charges of what’s called ‘unlawful discharge.'
Naturalist Ben Sandifer first saw the Twitter post this past weekend. He and other environmentalists say polluters must be held accountable.
"Where this incident is alleged to have occurred is a place that leads straight into the heart of the Great Trinity Forest," Sandifer said. "Chemicals that were harmful to the environment have an enormous detrimental impact on fish and wildlife that live down there."
He and the City fear that might have happened at the hands of water in a color not found in nature. Investigators say they expect to identify the red substance after the first of the year.