The change in the color of the water in a river or pond can change, mainly due to the activity of its microorganisms. However, this is not what is happening in Lagoa de Corfo, Argentina. In fact, this pond has acquired an intense pink coloration due to the dumping of industrial waste into the water.
Fishing industries in the region have received authorization from authorities to dump fish processing waste into Lagoa de Corfo. Mainly, sodium sulfite has caused the pond waters to turn pink. This salt, in turn, is used by fish processing industries as an anti-microbial agent.
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According to environmental engineer Federico Restrepo, companies can dump industrial waste into water bodies, as long as the products undergo treatment. According to Argentine law, by the way, the processing of chemical residues in treatment plants before releasing them into the environment.
It is noteworthy, furthermore, that this is not the first time the incident has happened. The region around Lagoa de Corfo is home to more than 600,000 inhabitants, many of whom have complained and demonstrated against the release of industrial waste into Patagonian waters. In addition to the obvious contamination of the water, the residues cause the proliferation of insects and a strong odor in the surroundings.
It is a fact that the fishing industry employs thousands of inhabitants in the region. The main export products that require the use of sodium sulphite are several species of shrimp. Environmentalists, therefore, criticize the factories’ position in relation to the treatment of their waste, since there is a treatment plant less than 60 km from the lake. Furthermore, if this is not feasible, the construction of a new station closer should be the priority.
Environmental bodies at the Trelew industrial park even claim that the residue will dissolve in the water in the next few days, causing the pond to lose its odor and pink appearance. However, researchers and residents are not so sure of this improvement.
It turns out that during protests (also referring to pollution in the region), streets were blocked, preventing the transport of waste from the industrial park. Thus, authorities allowed – recklessly – that the sodium sulfite was released into the lake.
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