SHELTON — There was a harmless type of red tide in the waters of Oakland Bay and Hammersley Inlet beginning Friday.

It was only a test.

Officials from the Washington State Department of Health, the City of Shelton, the  Squaxin Tribe and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are conducting the red dye test as part of a water pollution study.

Mark Toy, state Department of Health environmental engineer coordinating the tests, said he dye test is part of a voluntary study to identify areas where pollution may make shellfish unsafe for human consumption.

Red dye was added to treated wastewater from Shelton’s main sewage treatment plant.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration official was on hand to examine the city sewage treatment facility.

Toy says the state Department of Health was working with Mason County as well.

The City of Shelton has historically taken extra precautions to ensure that the wastewater treatment plant exceeds the Washington State Department of Ecology testing standards.

The Washington State Department of Health is responsible for the safety of commercial shellfish harvested throughout the state.

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