Micro-organisms to the rescue of Bengaluru lakes

Published Jun 6, 2015, 7:10 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 11:30 pm IST
A view of the Bellandur Lake on the outskirts of Bengaluru (Photo: DC)
 A view of the Bellandur Lake on the outskirts of Bengaluru (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Finally, there is some good news for residents living near Bellandur, Yemalur and Ammanni Kere lakes, which had been emanating stench. Mahadevapura MLA Arvind Limbavali and environmentalist Yellappa Reddy on Friday launched an initiative to clean up the lakes. Project partner Kiran Kulkarani told Deccan Chronicle that EM1 (effective microorganism) technology will be used on an experimental basis at Bellandur Lake.


“Direct entry of sewage has been the biggest concern in these lakes. With nearly two lakh residents living around Bellandur Lake alone, soap water, oils from restaurants and waste from industries, which all contain degradable material, enter the lake. The froth in Varthur Lake and the stench from these lakes is a result of degradable content which is also highly flammable. To kill bacteria in this content, EM1 culture will be adopted,” Mr Kulkarni said.

The EM technology is highly useful in killing bacteria that emanates stench. “Around three portions of sludge mixed with one portion of cow dung and EM is allowed to grow. The bacteria’s growth is monitored until they learn to eat sludge. Once ready, EM balls, which are of the size of a football, are let into the lakes. The bacteria inside EM balls eat up the bacteria in the lake and stop the stench,” he said.

Mr Kulkarni said that around 15,000 litre of EM is required to cover the lake, which spreads over 900 acres. "The EM balls are released into every square metre of the lake, once a week. Over a span of one month, the entire lake will be covered,” he said.

Mr Limbavali said that EM1 technology was used at Yemalur Lake last week on an experimental basis, and in 2010, it had successfully curbed the stench in Ulsoor Lake.
“We hope too achieve similar results here too,” he said. The Iblur Lake near HSR Layout, which is contaminated, could benefit from this cleaning, experts said.

What is EM method?

An effective microorganism (EM) refers to a bunch of anaerobic organisms blended in for environmental applications, such as in septic tanks. EM technology is purported to support sustainable practices like improve septic tank performance, efficiency of waste water treatment plants and reduce environmental pollution. Direct entry of sewage from apartment complexes and rapid encroachment had choked these lakes.

Location: Karnataka


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