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What causes frothing in Delhi’s Yamuna?

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Conservation and pollution related issues.

 

Delhi’s Yamuna

Context:

In what has become a repeat occurrence in the city, a layer of froth was seen floating over parts of the Yamuna river near Kalindi Kunj recently, with Chhath devotees standing in toxic foam-laden water to offer prayers.

  • The froth is a sign of a polluted river.

 

What causes frothing in the Yamuna?

  • The release of untreated or poorly treated effluents, including sewage from those parts of the city that are not connected to the sewerage network and industrial waste, could lead to frothing.
  • Surfactants and phosphates from detergents in households and industrial laundry find their way into the river, as all the sewage is not treated.

 

Reasons for foaming around this time of the year:

The river is in a lean phase and the water flow is less. Pollutants, therefore, are not diluted. The turbulence at the barrage near Okhla generates foam from the phosphates.

 

Why is Yamuna so polluted?

  1. The sewage treatment plants of Delhi are major contributors of the Pollutants being discharged in the river.
  2. Pollutants discharge from different types of industry is also a major issue.
  3. Agriculture activities along the banks of the river in Delhi contributes to river pollution.
  4. Agricultural waste and pesticide discharge from the Haryana field also contributes to the pollution.
  5. The low volume of water flow in the river causes the pollutants to accumulate and raise the pollution level.

 

About Yamuna River:

  • The river Yamuna is a major tributary of river Ganges.
  • Originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Bandarpoonch peaks in the Mussoorie range of the lower Himalayas in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
  • It meets the Ganges at the Sangam in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh after flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
  • Tributaries: Chambal, Sindh, Betwa and Ken.

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the Article 21, the right to clean the environment, and further, pollution-free water, has been protected under the broad rubric of the right to life?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. River Yamuna Flows through how many states and UTs?
  2. Tributaries of Yamuna.
  3. Acceptable maximum limit of ammonia in drinking water?
  4. Permissible level of Sulfate.
  5. Desirable limit of hardness of water.
  6. The desirable level of faecal coliform.

Sources: Indian Express.