Artificial floating inslands do their bit in cleaning Puttenahalli lake

Those of you who visited Puttenahalli Lake within the past few months may have noticed small platforms floating in the water. These are Artificial Floating Islands (AFIs) which we “launched” in June this year. The Vetiver and Canna planted in them are growing beautifully. PNLIT trustee Nupur, her husband Pranshu Jain together with our gardener, Jayanna, are the builders of five AFIs. With volunteers from Deloitte making two last Friday we now have seven AFIs. 

Artificial floating islands at Puttenahalli lake

A coot’s nest in one of the floating islands

 
Deloitte volunteers with the AFIs they made, 25-Nov-2016
 
Artificial Floating Island (AFI) is a variant of the wetland, an innovative way to improve water quality and keep the lake clean. In this system of Hydroponic Phytoremediation, plants in floating platforms absorb pollutants in the water to grow. AFIs are widely used abroad but not yet popular in India. 
 
Simultaneously with the AFIs, we began monthly testing of the water. We are delighted to see steady improvement in the each of the eight parameters we measure – pH, Turbidity, DO, BOD, Total Solids, Total Dissolved Solids, Nitrates and Phosphates. Some parameters still need improvement, but the trends are very encouraging. It may be too early to attribute this improvement to just the AFIs since they are few in number. We have been also curtailing the growth of aquatic weeds thereby exposing more water to the sun.  
 
Our sincere thanks to BMS College of Engineering for testing the water samples every month, their invaluable contribution to PNLIT – and to Srinivas SK for analysing the test results. CSR support from Deloitte Shared Services India Pvt Ltd. enabled us to remove the thick spread of invasive weed from the water, to hire people to keep the water clear of new sprouts as well as to fund the AFIs.
About Usha Rajagopalan 70 Articles
The author is a trustee of PNLIT.

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