Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's That Mucky Sludge?

"A mysterious sludge scared swimmers out of the water at some of Melbourne's most popular beaches yesterday, as authorities struggled to explain what exactly it was.

The shallow waters around Safety Beach and Mount Martha were filled with the greasy, black substance that stretched for several kilometres.

"It's a bit oily, when you come out you're all black and greasy," a beachgoer told Nine News.

"You don't know if it's safe to swim in or not, but being so hot you've got no choice," another said.

Mt Martha resident Drew Mayer told Nine News beachgoers just wanted to know what was going on.

"We rang the EPA [Environmental Protection Authority] and they couldn't tell us, they said they don't work on a weekend," he said.

A spokesperson for the EPA said an algal bloom had been moving around Port Phillip Bay, but was unsure if it was the same thing.

If it is algae the EPA warns swimmers could develop skin irritations and should shower after contact with water, Nine News reported.

The EPA has rated water quality for 26 of Melbourne's 36 beaches as "poor" today as rain is due to wash bacterial pollution into Port Phillip Bay.

Water quality was rated "fair" yesterday for all 36 beaches despite the mysterious sludge, as bacteria levels were low.

The EPA tests water bacterial levels but is not responsible for testing for algae, The Age reports."

January 02, 2011 - Those living along Nigeria's coastline said on Monday that officials are not doing enough to clean up last month's deep sea oil spill.

Thirteen coastal villages are thought to have been affected by the incident at Shell's Bonga oil field on December 20th.

Environmental groups said local beaches have been coated with black sludge and drinking water has been polluted.

Shell shut down its oil platform following the spill.

The company denied that any of the oil has washed up on the coast.

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