Sunday, October 7, 2018

Session on Stakeholder Mapping and Engagement at Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute

Between September 25-September 28, a training program was co-organized by Biome Environmental  (Biome) in partnership with Center for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi. The training program was focused on 'Urban Wetlands Management'. The location of the training was Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI), Nimli, Rajasthan. The campus is an education and training initiative of CSE equipped with rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment systems (reed bed and soil biotechnology).

Biome also conducted a session on 'Stakeholder Mapping and Engagement strategies: bringing together stakeholders for robust wetland management' on 27th September. The presentation is available at: The session included a presentation and interactive session followed by a short documentary on Kaikondrahalli lake.

Biome's session focused on lakes of Bangalore, historical and current narrative, and community led and managed initiatives in Bangalore. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Water quality testing kit from FFEM

On 25th September, 2018, Foundation for Environmental Monitoring(FFEM) conducted a training workshop on how to use their low cost smartphone-based water quality testing kits. Training covered water quality testing for a few very important parameters like pH, Nitrates, Phosphates and DO. 

The training session was attended by members of Biome Environmental Trust, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment(ATREE) and Jakkur and Kaikondrahalli lake groups.

FFEM is a Bangalore based nonprofit organisation, which create products that are designed for field use. Their products are integrated with apps that posts test results to online databases. Some of their products are fife water and fife soil. More details about the testing kits can be found in the following link.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Map of Bangalore Lakes and BWSSB/BBMP STPs

The link shared in this blog takes you to Google My Maps in which there is information about various lakes, and existing/proposed STPs of Bangalore that are documented by Biome Environmental Trust. Upon clicking on each icons under each layer, you are prompted with either some set of information or a few links which will provide more information.   

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hebbagodi Lake Report

Hebbagodi Lake is on 38 acres and is located very close to Biocon Limited in Electronic City, Bangalore. We visited the lake on 29 May 2018, and gathered that although the lake falls under the jurisdiction of Hebbagodi City Municipal Corporation, it is maintained by Biocon Limited since 2016. There is no STP at the lake, but the pollutant load of raw sewage entering the lake is reduced by addition of a certain type of bacteria based enzymes. There is one raw sewage inlet entering the lake from SW direction, and an outlet in the NE of the lake. Apart from the main inlet, there are four storm water inlets and a few inlets from individual houses where raw sewage enters. Upstream of Hebbagodi is Thirupalya and Shikaripalya lakes. Also there is Veerasandra lake which joins Hebbagodi from the North. There are 400 floating wetlands in the lake which are placed at the edges of the lake and near the outlet.

Hebbagodi Lake series Map

Overview and Observations
Hebbagodi lake is located in Electronic City, Bangalore.

Lake Area
38 acres
No STP exists at the lake but bacteria based enzyme is added upstream of the lake to reduce the pollutant load of the sewage entering the lake from SE direction. Floating wetlands and aerators in the lake also help in maintaining the water quality in the lake.
There is a motorable road around the lake. About half of the lake perimeter is fenced. There exist a childrens play area and a plan to install benches around the lake. Many shrubs, flowering plants and about 300 trees are planted around the lake. There is one primary inlet through which the sewage from the SW direction. The only outlet from the lake is located in the NE. Although there are fishes in the lake, no commercial fishing takes place. There are three gates around the lake to prevent the cows coming in and grazing. There are five people who work at the lake to maintain it. The Lake
Only one inlet was identified from which sewage would enter Hebbagodi Lake. It is summarized below.
Sewage inflow
Partially treated sewage along with storm water enters the lake from SW direction. Upstream of the inlet is Thirupalya and Shikaripalya lakes. About 2 MLD of water enters into the lake.

The outlet from the lake is an overflow system in the NE of the lake.

No STP exists in the lake premises. However, a bacteria based enzyme provided by Jalavahini Management Systems added at various locations on the upstream side of the lake has helped in reducing the BOD levels from 250 ppm to 30-40 ppm near the outlets along with the reduction caused by wetland species. There are eight aerators to keep the DO levels in right amounts. Water quality is tested twice every month at Biocon labs and once a month at some external lab. The points of water sample collection are at the the inlet, centre and outlet.
The Wetlands
There are about 400 floating wetlands at the edges and near the outlet of the lake. These floating wetlands are tied to the edge of the lake bund. Also, There is no stone placed on the slopes of the lake to hold the sand. To control the erosion they have planted vetiver on the slopes whose roots grow deep and helps in holding the soil together and prevents erosion. Vettiver is also found  in the floating wetlands. Other wetland plant species are Canna, Colocasia, Nutgrass and Aligator Weed. The size of each floating wetland is about 4ft*8ft.

Contact Info:
Ashwin, Engineer, EHS, Biocon:8884501116
Naveen, JMS Biotech: 9964755220
Shashank, JMS Biotech: 9742415496

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Open wells in Vile Parle, Mumbai.

Got to see these 2 old open wells in Vile Parle, Mumbai. Both with water at about 5ft below ground level. One is at the station road in a market place and the other is called the sarkari well. Both are within 200 metres from each other. Most people in the area didnt know about the wells and said there are no open wells in Mumbai - but those that knew of the wells could not think of a time when the wells were not there !! They said the wells were a 100 years old. Both wells are used - for non potable purposes - and have never gone dry. The people around seemed to think they are 100ft deep - but I could not get around to fathoming it and had no measuring tape to confirm !! There were turtles/ fishes in the water and the water looked clean - though there was some garbage dumped - but there was no smell/grease. The wells were in public places , open (no grilles)- never had been thought of as a safety concern  A hand pump near the sarkari well was now dry and had not been used for a while

Well on the station road - in the main market

They cant think of a time when the well was dry

Fishes - that the camera could not capture

its as easy as that - drop a bucket - get the water

safety does not seem like a concern- kids are careful

a hand pump close by - but its dry

Monday, August 6, 2018