Mysterious red substance continues to appear on Richfield lake

A mysterious, red oily substance has been showing up on a lake in Richfield, despite multiple efforts from the state to clean it up.

Crews from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were called to Legion Lake in Veterans Memorial Park on August 20 after residents reported seeing a crimson film floating on the lake’s surface.

“It was shiny and red,” Brigit Johnson, a concerned resident said. “I just thought it looked scary.”

Crews spent hours vacuuming out the muck out of the water. They have had to return to the lake several times because the residue keeps coming back.

“Unfortunately, that material was still present in the vegetation, and after it rained, it all came back up to the surface so they had to go out three times to collect that up,” Lisa McMahon from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said.

MCPA has already vacuumed out more than 30 to 40 gallons of the residue. They are still trying to determine exactly what the red substance is. Initial field tests show it is not red algae or another natural substance.

“Unfortunately somebody didn't use good judgment when they dumped or placed this in the lake,” McMahon said.

Cleanup costs for the lake are now nearing $10,000.

MCPA says the long term effects to the habitat are unknown, but, it will have zero impact to Richfield’s drinking water since it does not come from this lake.  Public works inspectors will be the lake every day monitoring the situation until the pond freezes over.