Ecotechnology has been developed over a period of over 35 years, to arrive at an eco-friendly solution to this challenge. It applies to all sort of waste, chemical/biological, organic/inorganic or solid/liquid/gaseous wastes, too. This approach involves tackling the root cause, which leads to such a waste of resources by man.
It involves using the bio-catalyst granules in fluids (liquids and gases) and using the remediated fluid as a resource for healing the system.
Biosanitizer granules convert polluted water into clean water, which also becomes a resource for ecosanitation. This action can be summarized as follows:
- Sanitation problems arise due to nitrates, hence nitrate management is crucial.
- Conventional nitrate management techniques consume organic food and oxygen, to produce CO2 and waste heat. Nature prefers another reaction, i.e., combining nitrates, CO2 and waste heat to produce organics and oxygen. This is a resource-generating mechanism, while conventional denitrification is a wasteful reaction.
- A natural catalyst; 100 mg of this product has the capacity of one acre of rich forest, in terms of its nitrate control, CO2 trapping and oxygen production.
Biosanitizer has been used successfully in several field-scale projects to demonstrate its efficacy.
Virus Control in Aquaculture
Biosanitizer was applied, in 1997, in a commercial prawn farm where the production was reduced due to viral attack. Virus is a wasteful mechanism of nature that uses nitrates but does not produce any resources. It is an alarm indicating that the nitrate level is high.
The nitrate overload, and hence the viral problem was solved by use of Biosanitizer at the rate of 1 gram per acre of pond (2-3 meters deep). Because of the oxygen production, the food chain that converts prawn waste into prawn food also got triggered. Expenses on prawn feed thus got reduced.
Taj Hotel at Madurai(in India) had set up a conventional sewage treatment plant wherein a compressor was to be used to inject air into diffuser pipes submerged in the aeration tank. This plant was retrofitted with Biosanitizer, in 1997, and aeration system was turned off. Biosanitizer was able to produce tertiary treated sewage without any recurring charges, also without producing any sludge and greenhouse gases.
The aeration tank developed a floating scum that supported a floating garden. The project has been working satisfactorily for seven years now, and has been monitored by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The treated water is used for gardening.
Powai Lake of Mumbai and Pashan Lake of Pune were successfully treated with a one-time dose of Biosanitizer. Both the lakes were getting sewage streams into them, rainwater coming only for about 60 days of the year. Powai Lake water quality was monitored by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and that of Pashan Lake was monitored by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Water hyacinth and mosquito breeding were controlled in both the lakes. Instead, useful vegetation such as lotus plants and fodder grass have started growing. They are being regularly harvested as a resource.
The bottom mud also became clean; it supported silky lawn grass (and not thorny/poisonous plants) when the lake bottom was exposed to sunlight in the summer.
Ecosanitation of Sewers
After the death of four municipal workers, in 1997, in the sewer system near a public toilet in Pune, Biosanitizer was used by the PMC. The death was due to the generation of toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide, mercaptans, etc. due to high nitrate-loading from the public toilet. Biosanitizer solved the problem by locking the nitrates and producing oxygen in the process.
Decentralized Sewage Treatment
Ten decentralized sewage treatment projects were set up in and near Pune, to treat the sewage generated by urban buildings and industries. The projects were simple, amounting to applying a one-time dose of Biosanitizer in the septic tank.
There is no need to de-sludge these units and the oxy-rich water coming out of these units also becomes an asset for gardening and ecosanitation. Its spray helps control odor, pathogens, and pests in the environment.
Decentralized Garbage Composting Units
More than 10,000 decentralized garbage composting projects have been set up in Pune and other cities, in India. The technology is also exported to other regions such as EU(Ireland) and USA.
The method is to apply Biosanitizer to clean the groundwater/ surface-water(including sewage) and spray the treated oxygen-rich water on the garbage heap each day to ensure eco-friendly bioconversion into compost. It is found that there is absence of odor, pathogens, and pests. There is no heat generation and production of greenhouse gases is minimal. The yield of the compost is about 70%, which is much higher than about 30% when garbage is composted without the use of Biosanitizer.
The loss is primarily due to higher production of CO2 in the conventional processes. Biosantizer technology, can thus, avail the carbon credits, making it more cost-effective to the user.
The utility of the Biosanitizer technology was well demonstrated after the July 26, 2005 deluge in Mumbai, when it rained about 1000 mm in a day. Accumulated garbage heaps and dead carcasses of animals created sanitation hazards in Mumbai.
Special bio-spray was created by combining Biosanitizer with a 100 ppm solution of calcium nitrate. This was sprayed on stinking garbage heaps and animal carcasses. The results of ecosanitation achieved were dramatic, as seen by control of odor, pathogens and pests. This was a joint project of Green Cross Society of Mumbai, Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Indian Express Initiative.
Environment management using Biosanitizer is more than just cleaning pollution; it turns pollution into resources. It conserves the good components of waste streams, converts harmful ones into useful ones, and produces a resource using the Nature’s principles that have evolved on this earth over millennia.Dr Uday Bhawalkar, Director, Bhawalkar Ecological Research Institute (BERI), Pune