I know what you’re thinking… the lagoon looks cool, kind of cute and very much intriguing. And while I do agree with all of these things, unfortunately, this sight comes with a cost.
This lagoon, situated in the Patagonia region of Argentina, has turned bright pink due to a number of pollutants. This highlights long time concerns on the local citizens. According to Federico Restrepo, environmental engineer and virologist claimed that the hue was caused by the presence of sodium sulphate.
Sodium sulphate is used by local fish manufacturers in order to preserve prawns for exporting. The law mandates that fish waste containing sodium sulphate, an antimicrobial agent, is to be treated before getting dumped. Clearly, this is not the case.
The lagoon has been this colour for about a week, but residents have long complained about the awful odour that it is emitting.
Recently, residents of Rawson, a neighbouring town, blocked roadways to prevent trucks from carrying processed fish waste from reaching treatment plants on the city’s outskirts. This then resulted in the factories dumping their waste in the lagoon.
“We get dozens of trucks daily. The residents are getting tired of it,” local environmental activist Pablo Lada told AFP. “Those who should be in control are the ones who authorize the poisoning of people.”
The news agency informed that the lake is not used for recreational purposes and it is not the first time this has turned pink.
“The reddish colour does not cause damage and will disappear in a few days.”
The fish industry has the option of either discharging its trash at a treatment plant in Puerto Madryn, about 35 miles away or perhaps establishing a new one closer to their plants. Unfortunately, the easiest solution was to dump the fish waste in the local lagoon.
Activists are concerned about how this could affect other water sources nearby as this lagoon drains into the Chubar river amongst others. These water sources are also used by other overseas fishing enterprises and fish processing plants.