Floating swampy land in Pakistan. In the rural areas of Pakistan, it is common to see seawater, but these ponds hold their own unique secrets which are still hidden from view.
These clumps of wastewater and the plants that grow in them can be a solution to a problem like water shortage in Pakistan. This is just a matter of arranging for a while. The procedure required is neither difficult nor costly.
This involves connecting wastewater ponds with drainage systems and releasing narsal, canal and many other types of floating plants. The rest of the work is about plants. The water that is cleared from here can be used for agriculture.
Many countries around the world are benefiting from this approach. This is called floating wetlands. What is this concept and how plants clean water, it has been recently tested in Faisalabad, the city and industrial center of Pakistan.
The World Wildlife Conservation Organization, WWF Pakistan, in collaboration with the Water and Sewerage Agency in Punjab Province, has introduced this concept of floating wetlands in the already established contaminated water ponds in Chakira, a suburb of Faisalabad. ۔
According to WWF Pakistan officials, ‘this way the underground reservoirs of safe drinking water in Pakistan can be saved.’ But the question is how?
Even if the water is cleansed in this way, it cannot work for drinking. If it is only used for irrigation, how will it save drinking water? And then what about industrial pollution in water?
The example of the industrial city of Pakistan, Faisalabad, is very appropriate to illustrate this process.
What is floating swampy land?
The integrated soil floating on the surface of the water is manufactured in exhibition use plastics, such as Thermopolis sheets.
At Chakira’s place in Faisalabad, Wassa laid waste stabilization ponds for polluted water on several acres of land.
They accumulate wastewater throughout the city, including both domestic and industrial waste. It is estimated that one hundred cusecs of water enter the pond daily.
WWF Pakistan chose one of these ponds located in the vast agricultural area of the industrial city. The pond is spread over four acres of four acres. Swimming ground was created to release water-purifying plants.
Solar Ali Naqvi, manager of WWF Pakistan’s ILES project, told the BBC that thermoplastic floating platforms are developed. ‘The soil is filled with holes and plants are drilled in it.
These types of plants like Narsal and Kanul are grown locally in Pakistan and are readily available. These platforms are then transported to the middle of the pond to swim.
How do the coconut and the canola clean the water?
“Water pollution is the food of these plants,” said Sohail Ali Naqvi, program manager for WWF Pakistan. Their roots grow and spread underwater.
That is, when plants grow underwater, food is available to them in the form of water contamination. They eat pollution and in turn water is purified.
Useful microbes are also sprayed on their roots when preparing platforms. This speeds up the cleaning process.
According to Sohail Ali Naqvi, ‘these plants cleanse the contaminated water of ordinary household waste, as well as their roots, absorb heavy metals containing water.’
He said that plants reduce their BOD and COD levels by eliminating organic matter contained in polluted water.
Biological oxygen demand – BOD and chemical oxygen demand are two measurements of the level of contamination found in water. The higher these two levels are in the water, the more polluted the water becomes.
Suitable for Pakistan
The drainage is drained through the drains into floating wetlands, where plants begin to process it. After being cleansed, the water can be drained from other directions for use in agriculture.
The question, however, is how much time does the plant take in this cleaning process?
“It depends on the pollution and temperature in the water,” Dr. Asad Farooq, chairman of the Fiber and Textile Technology Department at the Agricultural University Faisalabad, told the BBC.
The higher the heat, the faster the germs will work and the faster the water will purify. Temperature is high in Pakistan so this method is suitable for Pakistan.
Can it clean up the industrial waste?
Unlike other cities in Pakistan, there are no separate routes for the disposal of domestic and industrial wastewater. The two are combined.
According to Dr. Asad Farooq, “Cleaning up industrial wastewater is a difficult task.
He said that if both types of polluted water routes are separated, the domestic wastewater could be easily cleaned in this way by floating wetlands.
However, according to WWF Pakistan’s Program Manager Sohail Ali Naqvi, if the method is used in conjunction with a few other methods, industries can also ‘clean up wastewater at a lower cost’ through this process of floating wetlands.’
He said that small scale floating wetlands with a pond only cost around Rs 3 lakh. On the other hand, an industrial plant for a wastewater treatment plant costs Rs 6-7 million and the cost of operating and handling it is in addition.
Faisalabad, Pakistan’s third-largest city, is at risk of severe drinking water shortage. This is because of the large-scale clothing industry established here and hundreds of small and medium enterprises.
According to Adnan Gul, deputy director of operations and maintenance at WASA, underground drinking water is being polluted due to waste coming from these industries.
Where Faisalabad earns billions of rupees from the industry, a large part of its annual income comes from agriculture. If its contaminated water is cleansed, it can be used in agriculture. In this way, underground water storage, such as an aquifer, can also be avoided.
It is possible for floating wetlands and industrial pollution to do so using other methods.
How will Pakistan benefit?
WASA Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance Adnan Gul told the BBC that the water in Chakira ponds lasts 14 to 20 days, after which it goes into the western drainage mountainous drain.
‘This water is used to grow vegetables and can be irrigated by other crops such as wheat.’
According to Sohail Ali Naqvi of WWF Pakistan, Floating Wetlands to be set up in Chakira is his experimental project. “If this inshallah is successful here, then we will take it to other cities of the country.”
He said that Pakistan relies heavily on the aquifer for drinking water. Pakistan also produces large quantities of underground water for agricultural use. In addition, the underground water reservoir is subjected to severe pressure due to water pollution.
“Naturally purifying the contaminated water and using it in agriculture will not only save Pakistan’s underground water from contamination but also reduce pressure on it.”
They think this will help save Pakistan’s overall clean drinking water.