Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pulling the contaminated foam out of Bogota


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In Mosquera, a town outside Bogota, the capital of Colombia, in recent days a large mass of poisonous foam has been seen forming on the waters of the Balsilas River, near the area where the Bojaca River meets. According to the city administration, this phenomenon is caused by polluted discharges flowing into the sewage system from the adjacent industrial area and substances in the detergents used by residents: on several occasions, small clouds of foam began to separate and disperse throughout the neighborhood, stopping at gates, fences and buildings causing problems for the population.

Multiple residents of Mosquera they said For local television and news agencies that the foam smells bad, while others they complained Risk of skin irritation or breathing problems. Still others reported that this was not the first time this phenomenon had occurred in the region.

Luis Alejandro Camacho Botero, expert in environmental hydraulics at the University of the Andes, He explained Foams of this type can form when a river narrowing or something impeding its flow creates turbulence in polluted water. Gian Jerometa, Mayor of Mosquera, already That in addition to pollution, the problem is also associated with the presence of aquatic plants growing on the surface of the river, which prevents the water from flowing freely, aggravated by heavy rains.

Jerometa said the situation should improve, however, starting with the removal of aquatic vegetation.

In Colombia, the formation of toxic foams of this type is also observed in other rivers, including Bogotá, which flow west of the capital (where a new water treatment plant was opened in 2020). Similar phenomena have also been seen in other parts of the world. last year Istanbul seain Turkey, was covered with a large layer of marine gum, a gray, sticky substance produced by algae due to pollution and extremely high temperatures.

In 2015, polluted foam similar to that seen in Colombia these days covered the surface Lake Bellandursoutheast of Bangalore, in southern India, flakes off and piles up on the fringes or covers things like snow.

– Read also: Microplastics in our lungs

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