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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
skeleton
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Jogging Backpacking Mountaineering Motorcycle touring
Posts: 159
Default Why is mountain water yellow? (seriously)

Last weekend I cycled up Mt Seymour with a friend. After arriving at the top, I had depleted my two water bottles, so I looked for a road-side stream to refill them.

There were numerous streams from snow melt. The stream we choose was very fast moving; it was an outfall from a culvert that crossed under the road. My bottle was pure white plastic; when I looked into the bottle with the freshly filled water I noted that the color was a mild yellow. There was no sedimentation noted. We elected to continue our ride while foregoing the yellowing water. I refilled the bottles at the bottom from a gas station, which I could see their water to be clear (white in the plastic bottle).

Questions:

1) Given our location (on the Seymour Mtn road, about 500 meters below the parking lot), is the water probably fresh snow melt. As it is Spring time, can we presume the water is safe to drink, unfiltered?

2) What gives this water its yellowing tinge? Is this merely surface dirt in suspension?

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