Monday, June 27, 2011

Foam on Wascana Creek

I'm not the only one asking questions about those curd flotillas that have been cruising down Wascana Creek this month.

The day after I posted about the foam — and the pelicans swimming in and out of the billows (Regina: Weir Opens, Foams Wascana Creek) — CBC News did a story, too: Foam on Wascana Creek Not Risky: Biologist.

Pelican in Wascana Creek foam - photo by Shelley Banks
Pelican beside curds and billows of foam, June 22, 2011. 
Please don't tell me this is normal!  © SB

The CBC story explains that the iceberg-like blobs are "actually agitated cocktails of phosphorus and organic matter." It goes on to report that the University of Regina's Peter Leavitt says it's not necessarily bad that large blocks of foam are flowing down the stream, even if the phosphorus is coming from agricultural runoff.

However, Leavitt also told the broadcaster that there was an "unbelievable amount of phosphorus" in Wascana Lake, and he indicated that phosphorus-rich water supports algae growth.

You know what that means. Summer heat = thick green water, stench rising...

Dog owners, take note: some algae are toxic.   


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