Breckenridge Texan

The case of the mysterious blue streak on Walker Street solved

The case of the mysterious blue streak on Walker Street solved
October 30
07:19 2019

On Friday morning, photos of a mysterious blue streak covering much of the westbound lane on Walker Street from North Parks Street to Walmart starting making the rounds on Facebook, along with many theories of how it got there.

The streak actually went much farther than just down Walker Street. It started at the intersection of North Parks and West Second Street, ran south on Parks, then turned west onto Walker Street,  then north on FM 3099, through the Walmart convenience store parking lot and back onto U.S. Highway 180 all the way to Albany.

Concerned and curious citizens began calling the city about the streak and posting about it on Facebook. That’s when various city departments went to work trying to unravel the mystery of what it was, whether or not it was hazardous and where it came from.

The mystery was finally solved after local officials followed the streak’s trail all the way to Albany where it ended, and talked with people there, as well as watched Walmart surveillance video.

It turns out the stain was Mystic HC Spray Pattern Indicator, a high-concentrate liquid blue dye that is used in spray applications. It can be added to other agriculture chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers, creating a blue pattern that helps create a uniform spray pattern.

“It’s just an agriculture dye used with other chemicals. That’s all it is,” said Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney. “It’s just for showing that if they were spraying, they’ve already sprayed here and they didn’t want to spray it again.”

Once they found out what caused the stain, officials were able to determine it was not a hazardous chemical by looking at its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

“I pulled up the MSDS sheets on it,” Chaney said. “That’s how I know it’s not listed as a hazardous material. There’s no side effects to it, and it’s completely water soluble. It’s just an identification dye. You can just wash it off with water. I know people were freaking out, but we didn’t want to say anything until we found out 100 percent what it was. Once we had the MSDS, we found it was totally harmless; it was just an agriculture dye and not listed as a hazardous chemical whatsoever. Then we knew everything was going to be OK.”

As for how the stain got on the streets, Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion said a man who lives in the North Parks Street area was driving a truck with the dye and didn’t notice a new stop sign at the intersection of Parks and Second streets. When he saw the sign, he suddenly slammed on his brakes and the blue dye then started spilling out the back, leaving the blue streak.

Then on Tuesday, when it started drizzling and the road became wet again, McCuistion said, the City started receiving calls about blue dye on the pavement splashing and getting on vehicles. He wants everyone to know that dye is water soluble and will wash off of their cars.

“People need to know it will wash off,” McCuistion said. “It’s not hazardous, and at some point it will wash off. We’ll get a little rain, and it will wash off the street.”

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Traffic drives alongside a blue streak in the westbound lane of West Walker Street at the intersection of North Parks on Saturday morning. The mysterious blue streak, which ran all the way to Albany, was caused by a blue dye that is used in agriculture spraying and that spilled from the back of a truck. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan.

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