Fire Chief: White substance in Big Spring Park water was latex paint

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The city's fire chief said a milky white substance found in the water at Big Spring Park on Saturday was latex (water-based) paint.

The water is clear today.

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Over the weekend, Eric Schultz, a photographer with The Huntsville Times/, noticed the substance on Saturday evening while taking pictures.  He  called the Huntsville Fire Department.

Schultz said it was flowing into the Indian Creek canal around 7:30 p.m.

The fire department called in the hazardous materials unit to look at it and take samples.  Authorities taped off the park on the east side of Church Street while crews searched for the source.

Huntsville Interim Fire Chief Howard McFarlen said the white paint was from painting taking place in the basement of the Madison County Courthouse.  The city's environmental division flushed lines out and ran fresh water through.

Environmental officials said there were no signs detected that the paint posed a problem for fish or birds in Big Spring Park.

Citizens are urged to properly dispose of household wastes, such as paint or other substa.  You can drop off household hazardous waste on the first Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at the Handle with Care Collection Center at the Huntsville Landfill, 4100 Leeman Ferry Road. For special assistance, call (256) 880-6054.  Learn more at

1 Comment

  • DarkWolf

    Every day between 2:00 and 3:00pm and various other times of the day, the same occurence happens, except the white cloudy substance is also followed by tons of Bubbles (like grey water from laundry detergent or dishwashers). Since I work downtown now, I have noticed it like clockwork when I take my breaks and walk the park. Speaking to several other downtown workers, they have told me it has been going on for years now. Its obvious that a sewage ilne or drain is leaking into the water supply that feeds Big Spring park. Is it possible the waste line has been broken or collapsed due to the Sinkholes? Is anything going to be done to correct the situation?

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