Pink lagoon has Argentine environmentalists seeing red

The pond is one of several located about 20 miles from the city of Trelew used by local industries for releasing chemicals or treated water.

The waters of the Corfo lagoon are pink in Trelew, Chubut province, Argentina
The waters of the Corfo lagoon are pink in Trelew, Chubut province, Argentina

A bright pink lagoon is setting off red alarms for environmentalists in southern Argentina.

The pond is one of several located about 20 miles from the city of Trelew used by local industries for releasing chemicals or treated water.

Pablo Lada, a member of the SocioEnvironmental Assemblies of Chubut province, called for an independent analysis to determine what is to blame.

An aerial view of Corfo lagoon, which has turned a striking shade of pink as a result of what local environmentalists are attributing to increased pollution from a nearby industrial park, in Trelew, Chubut province, Argentina
An aerial view of Corfo lagoon, which has turned a striking shade of pink (Daniel Feldman/AP)

Mr Landa said the water had taken on a rosy hue before, but “now it is striking; it is an intense pink”.

He said specialists suspect it is caused by sodium sulphite, used to help preserve shellfish.

Provincial officials have said they expect the colour to disappear in a few days.

Some local media have blamed a consortium from the regional capital Rawson, suggesting it dumped chemicals there because neighbours closer had complained about the smell.

A dead bush sticks out of the water near the shore of Corfo lagoon, that has turned a striking shade of pink
A dead bush sticks out of the water near the shore of Corfo lagoon (Daniel Feldman)

But Adriana Sanz, in charge of water treatment for the Rawson Ambiental company, denied that and suggested it was part of a campaign by an unspecified rival company to damage Rawson’s reputation.

She said her company uses a separate pond about half a mile away for its discharges of treated water and that the one that turned pink is used by the Trelew Industrial Park.

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