Lake Michigan Mystery Material:  Maple Syrup

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June 18, 2013 — Lake Michigan beaches across northwest Indiana remained closed today as chemists with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management analyzed water samples from a plume of material that stretched from the Port of Indiana east to Michigan City.

The plume was spotted Monday, and Tuesday officials knew what was in the water. Gene Davis of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources district office in Michigan City said three substances were found.

Tri-calcium ortho-phosphate is a food additive used in spices and milk, and di-gluconic acid is used as a metal cleanser. The third substance was maple syrup. Reports of the substance did not stop some residents from using the beach today, while others say they were not aware of the reason for the closure.

Davis said the next task is to find out where the material originated, although a leaky load from a barge using the Port of Indiana is suspected.


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