Remediation Of Pollution Of A Man-made Lake In Vizianagaram, A.P., India

About 130 years ago, the Maharaja family of Vizianagaram implemented a program of building many tanks for  storing the water resulting from monsoon rains. One such reservoir for rain-harvested water is Pedda Cheruvu (Big Tank or Man-made lake), which has a surface area of 170 acres and its mid-depth is about 12′.  The water stored was used as a source of drinking water in its earlier days, and also used for irrigation of crops downstream of the .  With progression of time,  several communities living upstream of the Pedda Cheruvu are discharging their wastewater to the tank via a large drain.  As a result, it is polluted and has become an eyesore, a haven for mosquito breeding, and a nuisance emanating bad odor and swarms of mosquitoes.  Filaria became an endemic disease due to the biting of mosquitoes, as they are the carriers of the parasite, W. bancrofti that causes filaria.

Bharathi Theertha’s Dr. Prakasam Tata, after persuading for 15 years the local government’s  administrators was finally able to convince one District Magistrate and Collector, Dr. Rajat Kumar to build an highly cost effective and efficient waste stabilization pond system.   Dr. Tata provided the designs, and it became a reality in 2003 at a cost of $800,000. The odors have disappeared, and so is the nuisance of mosquitoes.  The surround- ings of the Pedda Cheruvu were beauti- fied, and a park like environment was created on the tank bed area.