Foam in Green River could be naturally caused
A foamy substance discovered floating in the Sand Wash area of the Green River two weeks ago contains no harmful chemicals, according to preliminary test results conducted by the Division of Water Quality.
Walt Baker, director of DWQ, said the sample from the foamy discharge was tested at the Utah Division of Laboratory Services and showed no elevated concentrations of substances or chemicals that would be harmful to the ecosystem or the public.
"It still remains unclear if the foaming was the result of an illegal discharge of a substance to the river or simply a natural phenomenon that typically occurs in the spring when increased runoff transports decomposing plants, leaves and algae, and the fatty acids they contain to streams and rivers," Baker said. "In water the fatty acids act similar to bubble bath in a bath tub - when disturbed by wind, waves or currents, bubbles are formed."
On March 12, an individual visiting the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge in the Uintah Basin reported to the Bureau of Land Management thick masses of foam on the Green River. On Monday, the BLM notified DWQ, which dispatched an environmental scientist to the area to collect water samples for analysis.
A sample collected by a BLM employee was tested at the state lab. Although there was insufficient quantity of the sample to do a whole suite of tests that normally would be performed, the sample was sufficient enough to determine if it contained substances normally found in drilling fluids used in oil and gas recovery.