Using nature and science to remediate temple ponds

March 22, 20220

Temples are a place of worship. They also serve as a common gathering place for various community events, cultural interactions and religious rituals that many people visit daily. Often temple ponds are hotbeds of contamination from ritual bathing, dumping of organic waste, urinal overflow and other human activities. Period cleaning and remediation of temple ponds using environmentally friendly and sustainable maintenance methods can help manage cleaning cost-effectively and help curtail any ecosystem imbalance.

The temple ponds help recharge groundwater which helps improve the water ecosystem.

Most of the temple ponds have become unusable and home to vast beds of macrophytes making the water stinky and unfit for use to all living beings. While the maintenance of temple ponds is vested in the hands of temple authorities and village panchayats, cleaning up these vital water sources and ensuring a balance in the ecosystem and avoiding turning them into breeding grounds for various diseases is the need of the hour.

Bioremediation
The bioremediation cleaning method uses biological organisms like enzymes, bacteria, and even plants to clean and restore water sources. The bioremediation method includes adding beneficial plants, microbes, and enzymes into the pond. It helps to break the organic waste into smaller degradable parts. While the chemical process is faster, it damages the balance in the ecosystem to a large extent. In addition, it releases harmful gasses in the process, which may affect living beings and cause health issues ranging from skin irritation to breathing problems. On the other hand, the bioremediation process is an efficient and effective method that is free of chemicals, can reduce nitrates and phosphorus present in water, stimulate algae growth, and is also environmentally safe.

Enzymes And Bioaugmentation
Enzymes are a part of all living beings on earth. They play a vital role in activities like digesting food in our stomach, breaking down organic things like dead plant cells, accumulation of leaves, waste from aquatic life, and degradation of any organic substance. In addition, enzymes work as catalysts and enable converting the organic waste into different types of bacteria or make it available for bacteria to eat them. While this seems like a standard augmentation method, enzymes play a vital role in degrading organic waste and keeping the water sources clean.

Bacteria And Bioaugmentation
Microbes are one of the most vital elements available in natural ponds, and they get eaten by aquatic animals. While this seems like a normal life cycle, it also works as a cleanup process for the ponds. However, not all bacteria are suitable for the degradation process since it accumulates waste in ponds, posing a problem. The resultant is a natural build-up of algae which usually grows at the bottom of the pond.

From Sanitary management to organic solid waste management, from septic tank management to low-cost bioremediation of ponds, tons of areas require environmentally friendly management methods in the temples.

Bioremediation of Ponds/ Lakes
Ponds/ Lakes are a vital part of temples as the water is used for holy dips by worshippers, offerings, cleaning purposes of deities, temple premises, and other important religious activities. It leads to disposal of temple trash, and other practices can lead to contamination of water, resulting in solid odour, increase of algal growth, higher oxygen levels, increase in organic sludge, damage to aquatic life in the pond, thereby spreading diseases.

Bioremediation methods help reduce the odour and sludge in the water through environmentally friendly methods. It also helps to decompose organic waste and enables the reduction of ammonia, nitrite, and sulfide in water.

Conclusion 
Bioremediation of temple ponds not only keeps it clean but also helps to keep the aquatic life healthy. While the traditional chemical methods are heavy on cost and harmful materials, bioremediation helps keep the temple ponds clean and hygienic with sustainable cleaning methods. Regular maintenance, constant monitoring, sustainable cleaning methods, and hygienic waste management methods are some of the best ways to keep temple ponds and premises clean and hygienic.

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