Water contamination is known to exist in all sources. Spring water is often considered to be purer than others. It may not be incorrect in considering that nature has it own water purification system. The source of water may be springs, rivers, and lakes. Often the source of these would be rains and the groundwater that percolates deeper. The type of soil is also a factor as to how much water would seep in or percolate. The vegetation is also a factor that affects the water runoff. There could also be some organisms that may cause degradation of water. However, there may be some like alge (algae) as well that help purify water naturally.
Soils in wetlands and riparian area are rich in vegetation and organisms that play an important role in nature’s purification process. There are studies that have been undertaken to find out if any organisms like algae play a role in nature’s purification systems. The research conducted was based on study of exchange of combined nitrogen and phosphorous of two species that are found in abundance in fresh water culture regions. Algae were cultured in BG11 milieu in water circulation system under fluorescent tubes. The results showed that algae have the capability to remove NH4+, NO3- and PO3-4. This shows that algae may be useful in purification of polluted water.
There are different researchers who have tried using different alge species to help in purification of water. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. The water systems are themselves of varying nature. Algae are of different varieties and with experiments may be used to build up the algal turf for purification of water to optimal levels. The basic idea behind the use of algae is to find out which species is soluble in water at what pH level and how it precipitates in given water depending upon salts in water, water temperature and so on. The level above which precipitation normally occurs is the pH of precipitation which is highly important. By adjusting the floway operating conditions the pH of precipitation may be adjusted so that the pollutant to be removed precipitates. The precipitation occurs close to algal cell surface and is deposited onto the algal cell wall. All this is occurring with the help of the different kinds of algae that have varying effects.
Pollutants like calcium phosphate, complexes of phosphorus with iron, magnesium and hydroxides are affected at different pH ranges. With elevated pH levels pollutants like phosphorus are removed as are other components of water like calcium, magnesium, barium, etc. The precipitation occurs only close to the cell walls of the algae and onto the algal turf. Different levels of floway operating conditions may be used and additional nutrients like carbon dioxide provided for growth of algae which would help in better adjustment of pH of water. There could be other factors like light conditions, temperature that may also be considered when using algae for purification of water.
Alge has been seen to help in purification of water. Using specific species we may be able ensure that water, even waste water is free from most contaminants and safe when it is returned to nature. The overall contamination of water often caused due to ill treated waste water management may be prevented.
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