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Brazil. Smelly, toxic foam covered the Tiete River. “A serious problem that has dragged on for years”

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The Brazilian river Tietê was covered with white, foul-smelling foam. Its source is industrial sewage that has not been properly treated. As NGOs warn, foaming substances can be dangerous to health.

The Tietê River flowing through the state of São Paulo is one of Brazil’s most famous watercourses. Due to its length and location, it is of great economic and cultural importance – many cities are located on its shores. However, this means that huge amounts of industrial and municipal sewage are discharged into the waters of Tietê on a daily basis.

A long-standing problem

As reported by local media, on Thursday, thick clouds of white, unpleasant-smelling foam appeared on the river near the city of Salto. In some places, the substance covered the entire river, obscuring its current. According to local media, the foam was formed on the river due to contamination with detergents and municipal-industrial wastewater that originated in the Sao Paulo metropolitan region. As noted by the Salto authorities, although the city takes care of the treatment of wastewater discharged into the water, the towns located upstream approach it less rigorously.

“This is a serious problem that has dragged on for several years,” officials said in a memo.

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– There is a danger of inhaling an odor similar to rotten eggs or sewage. It is hydrogen sulfide, explained Malu Ribeiro from the environmental NGO SOS Mata Atlantica. – The foam also contains various bacteria and dangerous substances that are dangerous to both the environment and people – she added.

Dense clouds of toxic foam on the Rio TieteReuters

Dense clouds of toxic foam on the Rio TieteReuters

Concentrated impurities

As the daily “Folha de Sao Paulo” explains, white foam in the Salto area is not a new phenomenon – it has been observed there four times in the last ten months. Foam most often occurs during the dry seasons, when the water level in Tietê is lower and pollutants are less diluted.

Dense clouds of toxic foam on the Rio TieteReuters

Dense clouds of toxic foam on the Rio TieteReuters

Reuters, Folha de Sao Paulo, Brasil Escola

Main photo source: Reuters



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