Published on: November 10, 2021




A layer of froth was seen floating over parts of the Yamuna river near Kalindi Kunj on the eve of Chhath pooja

What causes frothing in the Yamuna

  • The froth is a sign of a polluted river
  • 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.
  • Phosphates in the river form the froth
  • Surfactants and phosphates from detergents in households and industrial laundry find their way into the river, as all the sewage is not treated
  • 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

What has been done about it

  • Officials banned the sale, storage and transportation of soaps and detergents not conforming to the quality standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
  • The fifth report of the NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee notes that though BIS standards for detergents have been improved, it is not clear whether these standards will actually be enforced
  • Samples are being collected from the river near the Okhla barrage to check phosphate levels.