Foam Flows into Manchaug at Holbrook’s Cove

Thursday as more rain brought the level of Manchaug higher, it also brought Aldrich Pond up sending a large amount of white water over their falls into Holbrook’s Cove.

Amazingly, the water entered Manchaug filled with white “sudsy” water with the foam ranging in size from large balls the size of basketballs to very tiny. I could not imagine what it was as we drove by. It appeared as large chunks of stryrofoam floating throughout the area!

Closeup it appears very much like soap suds, but my guess is this foam was caused not only by the strong turbulence created with the large volume of water coming over the falls but also because of the high level of organic materials in the water: algae from the little pond’s algae blooms, aquatic plants, and decomposing plant material.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality explains further: “The foam that appears along lakeshores is most often the result of the natural die-off of aquatic plants. Plants are made up of organic material, including oils (i.e., corn oil and vegetable oil). When the plants die and decompose, the oils contained in the plant cells are released and float to the surface. Once the oils reach the lake surface, wind and wave action pushes them to the shore. The concentration of the oil changes the physical nature of the water, making foam formation easier. The turbulence and wave action at the beach introduces air into the organically enriched water, which forms the bubbles. Foam commonly occurs in waters with high organic content such as productive lakes, bog lakes.”

This will be documented Saturday morning as the volunteers from the Blackstone River Watershed Association/Blackstone River Coalition take their monthly water samples at Manchaug’s inlet and outlet.