UK’s biggest lake becomes “toilet” and government underestimates disaster, experts say | Society

UK’s biggest lake becomes “toilet” and government underestimates disaster, experts say |  Society

Lough Neagh in the United Kingdom has turned into a giant green soup, reports Sky News. This condition is considered dangerous for pets, livestock and wildlife. In people, it can cause stomach problems and skin rashes.

England’s largest lake, around the size of the Isle of Wight, provides water for 40% of Northern Ireland. James Orr from Friends of the Earth told Sky News the disaster was being underestimated because it was not happening on land. “If this happened in the UK, it would be a big story and it wouldn’t go to the House of Commons, there would be a lot of angry people there.”

The green color of the lake represents a Proliferation of toxic cyanobacteria Farm animals and to a lesser extent human wastes enter the lake. A mixture of manure and urine is rich in phosphate and provides nutrients to the algae. In certain conditions, such as heat and rain, the numbers explode. “Lough Neagh has become a toilet, a toxic soup,” says Orr.

Forty-one percent of Northern Ireland’s land area is drained by Lough Neck, mostly agricultural land. By promoting agriculture in the last decade, the number of cattle and pigs increased from 480 thousand in 2013 to 738 thousand in 2022.

Activists and some scientists say the resulting pollution has been ignored. Many farm animals are housed year-round or more, and their waste is collected and stored as slurry or compost, which is then fermented in biodigesters to produce methane gas as an energy source. What’s left, called digestate, is spread over fields as fertilizer, but it’s still rich in phosphates, which often ends up in waterways.

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The AgriFood Biosciences Institute (ABFI) is developing a solution that allows higher production with less pollution by massively shortening digestion and separating the liquid manure (and its low phosphate content) from the dry part. as biomass fuel. Gary Lyons of AFBI says that if these separators are used in agricultural operations, the water will be much cleaner.

The technology is expensive, and the country still lacks strong laws to control pollution, meaning toxic green goo often appears during the country’s summers.

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About the Author: Morton Obrien

"Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator."

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