Mysterious foam spotted in Yarra River

Foam in the Yarra River near Bramish Bridge along Damans Road Warburton. 194357 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Jed Lanyon

If you have travelled through Warburton recently, you may have spotted a white foamy substance blanketing the Yarra River and gathering in corners along the river bank.

Some residents have their concerns about the bubble bath-like foam, believing it may be harmful to the river or those who come in contact with it.

The mystery foam had been spotted by nearby residents on several occasions over the last year, sometimes lasting for days at a time before being whisked down the river.

Melbourne Water’s Team Leader Regional Services Steve Hosking has provided some clarification on the foam sightings.

“Occasionally there are outbreaks of foam on the Yarra River at Warburton and these can happen naturally depending on conditions at certain times,” he said.

Mr Hosking said that acids can release from organic materials creating a substance on the water that when mixed with air creates foam.

“Alternately foam can be caused by manmade pollutants getting into the waterway such as detergents.”

“Generally the water quality in the Yarra River at Warburton is considered good and is monitored regularly against a range of parameters including nutrients, E. coli and metals,” Mr Hosking said.

“Melbourne Water encourages industry and households to ensure that they are disposing of any chemicals and waste products responsibly and not into the local drains and waterways.

“Any instances of pollution being discharged to the river should be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Melbourne Water crews have been spotted at the site of the river a couple times over the past few weeks.

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