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Nitrogen and carbon flows through Belandur lake - Role of Bellandur lake as a natural wetland treating Bangalore wastewater

Chanakya, HN and Karthick, B and Ramachandra, TV (2008) Nitrogen and carbon flows through Belandur lake - Role of Bellandur lake as a natural wetland treating Bangalore wastewater. In: In Environment Education for Ecosystem Conservation, 2008, New Delhi.

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Much of the Bangalore sewage is treated in three streams namely Bellandur (K&C Valley),Vrishabhavati and Hebbal-Nagavara stream systems. Among these it is estimated that out of a total of about 500MLD of partially treated sewage is let into the Bellandur tank. We estimate that a total of about 77t N non-industrial anthropogenic nitrogen efflux (mainly urine and excreta) in Bangalore city. This is distributed between that handled by the three sewage streams, soak-pits and land deposition. About 17-24.5t N enters the Bellandur tank daily. This has been happening over few decades and our observations suggest that this approximately 380ha tank is functioning as a C and N removal system with reasonable efficiency. The ammoniacal and nitrate nitrogen content of the water at the discharge points were estimated and found that over 80% of the nitrogen influx and over 75% of the C influx is removed by this tank system. We observed that there are three nitrogen sinks namely bacterial, micro-algal and macrophytes. The micro-algal fraction is dominated by Microcystis and Euglenophyceae members and they appear to constitute a significant fraction. Water hyacinth represents the single largest representative of the macrophytes. This tank has been functioning in this manner for over three decades. We attempt to study this phenomenon from a material balance approach and show that it is functioning with a reasonable degree of satisfaction as a natural wetland. As the population served and concomitant influx into this wetland increases, there is a potential for the system to be overloaded and to collapse. Therefore a better understanding of its function and the need for maintenance is discussed in the paper.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Capital publishing company
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Capital publishing company.
Keywords: Wetlands;Bellandur Lake;Waste water;Carbon flow;Nitrogen flow
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2011 10:28
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2011 10:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/40474

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