A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Mystery foam in Albany creek

Written April 1st, 2014 by Hasso Hering


100_0523This is what Cox Creek looked like Monday afternoon just below the dam that impounds Waverly Lake. The dam is underneath Salem Avenue, but you can just barely see it from the footbridge on the north side of the street.

I was wondering what caused all that foaming in the creek, but even though I rode my bike all around the lake I could not see any obvious cause.

And I don’t know whether a little foam was a sign of pollution or anything else untoward in the muddy water of this creek, which flows into the Willamette River maybe half a mile downstream. (hh)

If anyone knows the cause of that phenomenon, please use the “reply” function below and let me know.

4 responses to “Mystery foam in Albany creek”

  1. Jim Clausen says:

    Interesting, my toilet gets foam too…

  2. George Pugh says:

    I have, somewhere, a small brochure that I received from either Oregon DEQ or the NRCS that addressed foam on water and stated to the effect that there are naturally occurring foams that are not normally harmful. Unfortunately, my filing more represents piling and I haven’t been able to locate it. Some folks have the idea that nature is always pristine. To that end, sometimes when I conduct tours of the our area I make a point of explaining that Muddy Creek was not named after the pioneering family of Mr. Muddy.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Excellent point. My prevailing theory now is that the foam is the result of the action of the waterfall over the dam is churning up whatever natural organics are in the pond, and considering the number of geese, ducks and other waterfowl living there this past winter, there’s probably a whole lot of that, er…, material in there. (hh)

  3. George Pugh says:

    That would conform with information I found with an internet search, which is more efficient than a “pile” search.


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