Aug 08, 2016

Saving Bengaluru’s lakes: Internet of Things to the rescue

BYRamarko Sengupta

Bengaluru’s Ulsoor lake makes it to national news from time to time when the fish in it goes belly up. It’s called a fish-kill. Large number of dead fish first surfaced on the Ulsoor lake in March this year, followed by a similar incident in May.

Thousands of dead fish washed up on the Ulsoor Lake

The reason? Depletion of dissolved oxygen in the lake. And that’s because of untreated sewage and solid waste that end up in the lake.
A couple of startups have come together to solve this problem using a nifty device which monitors the dissolved oxygen level in the lake and infuses oxygen when it is too low.

  Bengaluru startup Tetherbox Technologies and a private firm called Ecogenetech have partnered with the Karnataka government to save aquatic life in these lakes. The city’s landmark Ulsoor lake is their pilot project, and other lakes will follow soon.

The devices being installed in Ulsoor lake

“The drains end up in the lakes, and the sewage water leads to the depletion of dissolved oxygen levels in the water which kills aquatic life,” Safeer Usman, CEO, Tetherbox Technologies told FactorDaily.

Tetherbox’s system installed in floater devices keeps a check on the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the lake. If the levels are less than what is required for the survival of aquatic life, the system alerts the floats which then dispense the required dissolved oxygen. The floats are made by Ecogenetech.

The device afloat on Ulsoor lake

The systems were installed in Ulsoor in early June. Vrishabhavathi valley, which the company says is equally polluted is next on the list. Tetherbox is also keen on working on the Hebbal lake, Usman said. The infamous Bellandur lake is not yet on the list, but the company said they would be happy to take up the project as soon as they are finished with Vrishabhavathi.

One of the ways to tell that a lake doesn’t have enough dissolved oxygen is when it starts smelling bad, there’s algae, and fishes die, Usman said.

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Ramarko Sengupta is a writer of FactorDaily.