With the seepage of sewage continuing into the rejuvenated Gujjarkere in South Mangaluru that has historical and religious significance, the Mangalore Smart City Ltd. (MSCL) has started installing fountain aerators in the Lake to reduce the concentration of organic compounds.
Aerators, besides reducing organic compounds, also oxygenate the water body and remove dissolved gases thereby improving water health. While many kinds of aerators were in use for water quality improvement, a fountain aerator adds to the beauty of the water body, it is said.
When water was pumped through the fountains, water droplets collect air from the environment and fall back into the Lake. The process then continued round-the-clock and was expected to oxygenate the water body besides removing dissolved organic compounds.
MSCL General Manager (Technical) Arunprabha told The Hindu that Smart City would install five fountain aerators, one each at four corners and one in the middle of Gujjarkere. A water pump at the northeast corner of the lake pumps water to these fountains, he said.
Mangaluru City Corporation Commissioner Akshy Sridhar said the administration decided to go with fountain aerators to add to the beauty of the Lake which has already become a place for socialisation for the residents.
Plugging sewage leak
On continued sewage seepage into the rejuvenated lake, Mr. Arunprabha said MSCL has identified one UGD connection on the northeast side of the Lake that could not be connected to the newly laid sewers. There was no space either to relocate the line.
Once the rains subside, the MSCL would design a suitable plan either to relocate the line or to plug the leakage somehow, he said.
Mr. Sridhar also said the Council had in its last meeting decided to identify the line that lets some amount of sewage into the Lake and plug it. It would be closed at any cost, he assured.
Gujjarkere, where the historic deity of Mangaluru—Sri Mangaladevi—undertakes Avabhrita Snana (holy bath) twice a year, was a thriving body about three decades ago. Local residents claim that they used to swim in the lake and even used the water for drinking purposes. Gujjarkere Tirtha Samrakshana Samithi Member Nemu Kottari said the Lake has immense sources of water.
For about three decades, the lake became a slush pond with sewage being let into it, and efforts to clean it began in 2001. The administration had spent over ₹20 crore on its rejuvenation by which time MSCL took out the work. Rejuvenation was complete by March 2022 when MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and MLA Vedavyasa Kamath inaugurated it.