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Eco-friendly handling of effluents



WAY TO TREAT: With environmental deterioration being a major concern, common effluent treatment plants come in handy to stem the rot. Photo: K. Ananthan

ENVIRONMENTAL DETERIORATION has been a major concern to scientists and engineers through out the globe. Different agents are polluting natural resources like air, water and soil. Industrial effluents are major source for water and land pollution. Different industries produce different kinds of effluents with varied composition of chemicals.

When these effluents are released to the environment, they gradually react with surroundings and thus divulge their deadly nature. Industries employ many pre-treatment plants before they discharge effluent to environment. Many industries cannot afford to have a pre-treatment plant, as it would not be economical to them therefore they illegitimately discharge the waste without treatment.

One of such victims is Kazipally village in Medak district. There are more than 40 industries of various types and capacities, small, medium and large manufacturing a variety of goods from steel strips, industrial inorganic chemicals like Anhydrous Aluminium chloride, calcium chloride activated bleaching earth, sulphuric acid, organic chemical like dyes and dye intermediates, glycerol gluconate, ortho nitro benzaldehyde, diethyl oxalate, acetyl Sulphate, acetyl chloride, calcium glycero phosphate, theophylline, drugs like paracetamol, sulpha methaoxozole, mebendazyle, mephensine ciprofloxazole, norfloxaline, and liquid pesticides. Most of these industries were established after 1989.

At the Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute, Gachibowli, Biotechnology and Toxicology Lab we found that bio remediation could be one of the solutions to such problems. Bio remediation involves sequestering the polluting heavy metals in a way that makes it easy to collect, for example, in a way that it is to be released, when the organisms are rinsed.

The remediation part would involve using the collected material, either concentrating it for storage or recycling it. Finding and using bio-remedial solutions involves learning of great deal about the ecology of the surrounding environment.

Studies revealed that chromium content was high in the soil which highly hazardous to human health. Chromium can be treated using Thiobacillus thioparus bacteria, which was found to be present in the soil sample brought from the village. Thus bio remediation can be used to reduce chromium content.

Bio remediation

Bio remediation has the following advantages; it may result in complete degradation of organic compounds to nontoxic byproducts. There are minimum mechanical equipment requirements. It can be implemented as in-situ or ex-situ process. In-situ bioremediation is safer since it does not require excavation of contaminated soils. Also, it does not disturb the natural surroundings of the site. Kazipally village is only one among many villages, which have been a victim of Industrial Pollution. Many Environmental concerned groups are striving to get justice for people of village but Government role has been minimal. It is time for us to act to make sure that there shouldn't be any more Bhopal tragedies.

Gudavarthy Rakesh Vathsal, R. Sai Guna Ranjan, Shardool Joshi & B. Rama Krishna Reddy,

B.V. Raju institute of Technology, Medak

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