Tuesday October 17, 2023


Did you see something that appeared to be “green scum” floating on top of the Willamette River in Portland on Monday? You’re not alone.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Susan Mills told KOIN 6 News that the “green scum” was first reported Monday morning. A crew with the state’s Water Quality Monitoring team sent photos of the river scum to toxicologists at Oregon Health Authority Monday. After analyzing the photos, the OHA determined that the substance isn’t harmful, and no toxicology tests are necessary.

“The two agencies have determined it is not algae or related to cyanotoxins,” Mills said. “Therefore, OHA has not requested DEQ sample and test the material. It appears to be aquatic plants that were likely dislodged by recent rains in the area. Floating aquatic plants are not considered toxic.”

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