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Scientists warn high bacteria concentration in Pichhola lake

PICHHOLA GRASS SAM5 PICHHOLA GRASS 3Udaipur : The spreading presence of various obnoxious weeds like Chara, Cladophora, Hydrilla stretching over lake Pichhola has evoked serious concern among environmentalists and local population. The scientists have warned high bacteria concentration in the famous water body which may pose serious risk to public health, they claimed. Also, the intense growth of the weeds and algae block the entry of light into water, badly affecting the diversity of indigenous fish varieties and other vertebrate and invertebrate fauna.

Studies conducted recently found that the high nutrient content of water, due to flow of sewage and accumulation of chemicals have been major factor contributing to the fast growth of various dangerous weeds in the lake system. “Cladophora is a green algae that grows submerged attached to rocks, underwater plants and other hard surfaces. As it grows, it has the tendency to collect floating debris and becomes haven for odor producing bacteria colonies that may lead to outbreak of various illness of stomach and intestines” said Dr Praveena Rathore, a scientist. Hydrilla is sometimes called an invisible menace because most of the time one doesn’t know it is there until it has filled the water. It shade out native aquatic plants until they are eliminated.

This forms a monoculture, which will reduce biodiversity and alter the ecosystem. “ Hydrilla does not only pose a threat to other plants but to animals as well. When hydrilla becomes over abundant, fish population imbalances are likely. The dense mats of hydrilla alter the waters chemistry by raising pH, cause wide oxygen fluctuations, and increase water temperature” informed Dr L.L. Sharma, a limnologist. “ We have to manage our lakes to reduce the potential for weeds accumulation that contribute to high bacteria concentrations. Maintaining septic systems, keeping animal waste out of water ways and storm drains, planting buffers along waterways, and keeping leaves and grass clippings out of the streets are just a few of the ways that we can all reduce phosphorus runoff over the long run to help keep the problem from getting worse” Anil Mehta of Jheel Sanrakshak Samiti suggested.

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