Yorkshire Water is releasing environmentally-friendly red dye around Runswick Bay, near Whitby, to gain a better understanding of how its sewer outfalls can impact on the quality of local bathing waters as part of a £110m project to improve the Yorkshire coastline.
Bathing water strategy manager, Lee Pitcher, said: “The dye itself is completely inert and is not harmful in any way to plants and wildlife.
“Over the course of the next few days, we’ll be releasing a small amount from our outfalls and then tracking where it goes.
“This testing is hugely beneficial as it should give us a clearer picture of how our outfalls operate and the impact they have, helping to inform our planning.”
Dye-testing has already been undertaken around Scarborough, Bridlington, Filey, Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes and Sandsend.
The technique works by monitoring how long it takes for discharges from sewage pipes to reach the sea and the effect of underwater currents and tides.
Yorkshire Water has pledged to transform Yorkshire’s beaches and bathing waters into some of the best in Europe by 2015.
The dye will be released off Runswick Bay from Monday.