Foamy pollution creates huge problems in Bangalore

This degree of foam on the surface of a lake is a signal of a serious pollution problem.

A toxic snowy froth caused in a lake by industrial pollution has spilled over into neighbourhoods in India’s Bangalore city.

Source: India Bangalore lake of toxic snowy froth – BBC News

Over the years, the 9,000-acre Bellandur lake in India’s technology capital has been polluted by chemicals and sewage.

Mixing with storm water coming out of two outlets into the lake, pollutants form a toxic snowy foam that covers the water and rises so high it flows into the surrounding areas.

Photo credit:

Photo credit: Debasish Ghosh

This is more than a LITTLE foam.

Some foamy substance in running water can be natural. There are chemicals released by organic matter that act as surfactants, causing the churning water to bubble. You may see this in streams or at the beach. It’s more likely to be seen during the spring and fall as the water is warm and there is increase in decay of organic material. Foam is usually harmless, possibly caused by a burst of algae. But it can signal high phosphorus or detergents in the water. If foam is THIS excessive, there is a problem. Soap in the water, even just a little bit, will kill wildlife.

Once, long ago, locals say they used to fish on this lake. But now, the lake is SO polluted with waste chemicals, oil, hydrocarbons, and untreated sewage that it occasionally catches on FIRE as it did in May of this year.

Flaming foam of lake Bellandur.

Flaming foam of lake Bellandur.

Bangalore’s population increased but environmental management did not keep up. Land development was not kept in check resulting in loss of many species of native wildlife. The surrounding areas were subjected to dumping of solid and liquid waste. Remember this the next time industries complain that there are too many and too restrictive environmental laws. You DO NOT want to live in a place where lack of environmental laws could allow this to occur. For the last four decades, this water has turned toxic. Complaints appear to go unanswered. Locals exhibit various health problems related to the fumes released into the air. The groundwater is not safe to drink.

  6 comments for “Foamy pollution creates huge problems in Bangalore

  1. ScienceMonkey
    October 1, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    Ah, beautiful Cleveland.

    When did they plant those palm trees in the Flats?

  2. Kurt
    October 1, 2015 at 3:09 PM

    Hey, I’m from Cleveland and we resemble that remark! To be fair, the river only caught on fire… several times. It’s really clean now, that’s to invasive mussels!

  3. Dubious f
    October 1, 2015 at 6:34 PM

    On the last week of October, Montreal wanted to let through raw sewage waste water directly in the St-Lawrence river. Untreated, this brown water was to be “dissolved” by the river’s flow. 4 Olympic stadiums of liquid hell. All planned to be done because of construction. The provincial government stated they had no choice and that it will have “acceptable damage”. Now the city will try to rethink the project after environmentalists clearly pointed the collateral damage. We’ll see. That could be a very frothy river in November ….. http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/montreal/st-lawrence-river-sewage-bonaventure-mill-interceptor-1.3248937

  4. Mr. B
    October 2, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Victoria, B.C. has been doing this for years http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/01/26/Victoria-Raw-Sewage-Dumping/

  5. October 2, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    This is clearly illegal in the U.S. under the Clean Water Act. http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act

  6. Dubious f
    October 2, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    It is also illegal in Canada. In this case (Montreal), environnement canada has stated that it is prohibited to do so. Though we’re looking at a provincial gvnt vs federal gvnt scenario, most likely it’ll be a oops! We tried. Mind you, waterways are of federal jurisdiction. It will not be simple and so costly….

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