India is home to a large number of beautiful lakes and great rivers spread all over the country from Kashmir to Kerala and from Rajasthan to Assam. However, in recent times, many of these water reservoirs have got depleted; some have become source to water borne and other diseases. Around 70-84% untreated wastewater directly goes to the rivers, lakes and sea. In such a scenario, lake cleaning is no more the same, but a broader term now. Rajeeva Ranjan, MD- Viraj Clean Sea Enterprises Pvt Ltd speaks to Suprita Anupam.
‘Environment as First Choice’
‘Environment’ was my first choice. Back in the 80s, water pollution was not paid much attention. There was hardly any company to treat oil spills that time. Having adequate experience in the field, this encouraged me to set up a start up in the zone.
Viraj Clean Sea Enterprises provides solutions to oil & HNS spill responses, turnkey OSR support, environmental problem, fire & vapour suppression & decontamination against CBRN incidents by compressed air foam system, lake & river cleaning and marine security, including marking of danger areas by sophisticated buoy system.
The specific cleaning products for oil spills & decontamination are not available in India. We have collaborated with some foreign companies and introduced new maintenance free products such as American-made self-righting high speed boats which are extensively used by the USCG, as well as amphibious multi-purpose machines and coastal cleaning vessels that are made in Europe.
Lake cleaning has four aspects:
- Removing physical impurities
- Recovering water quality
- Maintaining the prescribed oxygen level in the water
Major water quality spoilers are fertilizers, grass clippings, leaves, animal waste and septic waste. Besides, aquatic weeds, algae, dust, pollen, fish and waterfowl droppings are also contributors. The impurities, fertilizers, nitrogen and phosphorus mixed in the lake water form a layer in between the inner and outer space, stopping sunshine to come and oxygen to generate. The aquatic lives start getting finished, spreading fishy smell surrounding the area. Polythenes and other physical stuff adds the problem.
Among the currently deployed solutions in India, everybody talks about physical parts removal and then adding chemicals to remove the stinking. The majorly deployed methods thus, involve physical controls, mechanical manipulation of water and sediment and chemical control. It is a short term solution. Frankly speaking, it won’t start the regeneration of micro-organisms. It would not restore the aquatic life culture of the lake.
The Eco-friendly Solution
For the physical and mechanical controls, we have weed removal aquatic boats, motorized cutters that remove the physical impurities three metres onwards. However we don’t offer chemical control but the most eco-friendly solution that regenerates oxygen and vital micro-organisms within the water, restoring the aquatic life culture.
The device has been invented by Dr Kobayashi, ES lab, Japan. It works on the theory of balancing the imbalance present in the lake. Impurities generate free ions/radicals which further impact the lake by affecting the scavengers of the aquatic life. The passive device helps immobilise the free ions / oxygen by turning them into atoms. The number of devices across a lake differs as per the pollution level.
The method does not involve any chemicals or battery. The minimum life span of the device is 10 years. It does not emit any radiation that may harm the aquatic life. Depending on the pollution level, it takes 6-9 months to see the difference and revival of life-enabling micro-organisms.
The device has been operational for the past 12-15 years in Japan and other countries. However in India, it is yet to be proved by a third independent organisation. We have reports from NABL accredited lab that show the improvement in five months.