PHYTOREMEDIATION OF SEWAGE BY GRASS CULTIVATION: A CASE STUDY OF VALIATHURA SEWAGE FARM IN TRIVANDRUM DISTRICT, KERALAV.S. CHITHRA AND D.S. JAYA
One of the major sources of water pollution is sewage pollution. This study was conducted in 2003, at Valiathura (Muttathara) Sewage Farm in Trivandrum District, Kerala. Here in 108 acres of land, the fodder grass cultivation was done using the sewage effluents. To find out the changes in the physicochemical characteristics of the sewage effluent discharged to the nearby water body, the sewage water was analysed before and after irrigation in the sewage farm. In addition to the analyses of sewage water, various physico-chemical parameters of soil including heavy metals, chlorophyll content of plant leaves and heavy metal content of plant parts were analysed separately. The values obtained for most of the physicochemical parameters of sewage effluent used for irrigation was rated as suitable for irrigational purposes. The biological filtration processes in the sewage farm reduces biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total dissolved solids (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD) etc. of the sewage effluent. It was also found that the grass cultivation in the sewage farm helps to remediate the contaminants like cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) present in the sewage to some extent. The results of the present study on heavy metal accumulation in plants irrigated with sewage shows that the grass, Hybrid Napier accumulates inorganic contaminants more compared to that of the Para grass cultivated in the sewage farm.
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