Lake restoration through ‘Bioremediation’

71% of the earth’s surface is covered in water but less than 2% is portable fresh water. Yet, the contamination of essential freshwater sources like lakes and rivers has elevated over the years.

A wetland can be considered polluted or eutrophic when its ability to metabolize and convert nutrients is failing under the weight of nutrient overloading. Weeds and algae take over, lake-bottom muck builds and the body is filled with untreated harmful toxins.

Water Pollution Stock Photos and Images - 123RF
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Now the question is how do we bring a eutrophic body back to life? The answer is- Restoration and Rejuvenation. This method includes structural and land treatment measures, interception of nutrients and sediments, lake deepening or dredging, Dilution/Flushing, Aeration of Water, and much more

Photo showing the contrast of the lake basin before and after restoration.  | Download Scientific Diagram
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Among the many restoration techniques is Bioremediation. It is a branch of biotechnology that employs the use of living organisms, like microbes and bacteria, in detoxifying contaminants, pollutants and toxins from water, soil and other environments. In simpler terms, certain microbes convert pollutants into small amounts of water or harmless gases like CO2.

In the process of Bioremediation, mainly aerobic bacteria like Pseudomonas , Alcaligenes and mycobacterium are used. They are known to degrade pesticides and hydrocarbons. Methanotrophs, which are also a type of aerobic bacteria, help utilize methane for carbon and energy. The bacteria combined with ideal environmental conditions like temperature and oxygen content are responsible for an effective decontamination of water.

Mycobacterium fortuitum - Wikipedia
Mycobacterium fortuitum , Source –

Some major advantages of ‘Bioremediation’ are:

  1. No side effects as the process is completely natural
  2. Minimal equipment required and time saving
  3. Cost effective/Economical
  4. Little energy required compared to other processes
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This natural rejuvenation technique is used all around the world to disinfect ground water, cleanse the area around oil spills and nourish the soil. The Indian government should use Bioremediation for detoxifying our contaminated wetlands and borewells,

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