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Boise River to BSU: Pe-yew!

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Boise Fire Department Hazardous Materials team members were prowling the Boise River last week, when passers-by and Boise State officials noticed that something nasty was a-going-on down by the Boise River.

According to Deputy Boise Fire Chief Dave Hanneman, the city's HazMat guys went to the site and found that one of Boise State's eight groundwater overflow pipes was indeed sending something foul-smelling into the river, but no one knew yet what it was. Initial tests, Hanneman said, indicated nothing toxic or dangerous was in the mix.

"They didn't really find anything," Hanneman said. Samples are now in the hands of the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories for further testing, and the Department of Environmental Quality is also involved, said Frank Zang, a spokesman for Boise State.

"The tests did not show anything hazardous or harmful, nor did they ask us to shut down the pipe," Zang said. He'll hazard a guess that recent rains might have something to do with an increased flow of groundwater through the pipes.

Hanneman's mind was on Boise's history, though: The area where the water is coming from, he said, is also the former site of a city dump.

"It's right in the heart of Boise," Hanneman said.

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