Soap suds inundating local stream sparks interest
Why is there foam in your water?
Saturday, March 10, 2012 - 15:09
Photo: Katherine Bailey
In my town, we are lucky to have many streams and a host of animals that live in and around the stream ecosystems. In my neighborhood, we have a tributary of Black Creek that runs behind one side of the street. In fact, even though I do not have access to the stream from my house, I still have the privilege of seeing mallard ducks marching across the street and through my yard. However, my neighbor across the street from me told me about something very strange happening in the stream.
A giant soapy blob appeared along the rocky edge of Little Black Creek, and my neighbor took several pictures of the suds. My guess is that the suds are coming from upstream where there is a car wash and other developments like Walmart. Although I cannot say for certain why these suds are in our creek, I do know that they should not be there, since many soaps contain high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which can alter oxygen content in water ecosystems.
I intend on taking samples from the stream and actual pieces of this soap stuff to test for nitrates and phosphorus. Hopefully my next blog will elucidate this odd occurrence.
Photos: Katherine Bailey