The mystery behind frothing of lakes in Hyderabad and Bengaluru may have been resolved as scientists at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) decoded the puzzle, saying its caused by multiple factors and warned the authorities to come up with an action plan soon before the situation goes out of hand.

“Frothing is not due to a single factor, rather multiple factors are involved. The chemical factors behind frothing lakes include discharge of detergent and sewage, while filamentous bacteria is the biological cause for foams in water bodies,” said P R Meganathan, a NEERI scientist.

“Besides, when the lake water tumbles down from a height, it makes the possibility of surfactants leading to bubbles in water. While examining Ibrahimbagh Cheruvu, we felt the need of a localized waste treatment plant and decentralization of the treatment system as well,” he said at a national seminar on ‘Frothing Lakes: Causes and Mitigation’, which was organised by CSIR- National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) -Hyderabad Zonal Centre – at Secunderabad.

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Scientists said while wallowing in bathtubs strewn with scented foams is refreshing, but swimming in stinking and harmful foams of city lakes is harmful.

“The discharge of untreated domestic and industrial sewage should be stopped to control froths in lakes, for which civic authorities like Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) should draw up an action plan and implement it in various phases,” Shaik Basha, scientist and head of the NEERI, Hyderabad, told #KhabarLive.

Scientists, researchers and environmentalists from different parts of the country pondered on reasons behind frothing lakes and the ways to control the problem as well. Brushing aside the myths and beliefs about froths in city lakes, they said chemical, biological and physical factors play a pivotal role for the formation of foams, which spills over adjacent roads and houses after heavy spells of rains.

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Though froth is being spotted afloat in various lakes across the city for the last three to four years, this is for the first time that a city institute roped in experts to deliberate and find solutions for this problem. Echoing the findings of a research conducted by the host institute, the panellists turned the spotlight on the necessity to classify the city lakes on the basis of bio-diversity and physiochemical characteristics.

Parkhi Cheruvu, Nacharam Cheruvu, Nalla Cheruvu, Hasmanthpet lake and RK Puram Cheruvu are among the water bodies in the city, which have been prone to frothing problems in the past few years.

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The local speakers at the seminar expressed concern over the fact that in 1970s the city had over 3,000 lakes, but only 50 per cent of that number are left today due to rapid urbanization. #KhabarLive

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