Lake Delton's expensive dye job investigated by state of Wisconsin

Ahhh, natural beauty. Last month, Lake Delton shimmered with 500 gallons of "AquaBlue."
Ahhh, natural beauty. Last month, Lake Delton shimmered with 500 gallons of "AquaBlue."
Photo courtesy of Kay Mackesey.
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Last month, the Wisconsin village of Lake Delton decided to give their lake of the same name a very expensive dye job, using $29,108 in taxpayer dollars to change the lake's color from scuzzy green to shimmering blue.

Now, the Wisconsin state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is investigating the village board's decision to tint the 267-acre lake, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

The investigation will determine whether putting the 500 gallons of dye in the lake was akin to applying a pesticide, DATCP spokeswoman Donna Gilson told the State Journal.

Josh Britton of Aquatic Engineering, the company that "injected" the dye, called "AquaBlue," said they were able to put it in the lake without approval from the Department of Natural Resources because the dye is not a pesticide.

Mark McCloskey of DATCP, a primary investigator, said the state considers a pesticide application to be the application of a chemical used to control any living organisms.

A decision to take administrative action or apply a financial penalty would follow the investigation, which could take several months to complete, according to Gilson.

Lake Delton has famously been the site of the Tommy Bartlett water-ski show for 60 years.

No matter what the DATCP determines, we already know what the River Alliance of Wisconsin thinks of the dye job. On it's blog The River Rat, the alliance referred to the "AquaBlue" as "damned expensive lipstick on the proverbial pig."

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