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'Cocktail' Cleans up Pampulha Lake in Belo Horizonte

04/27/2017 - 10h57

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CAROLINA LINHARES
FROM BELO HORIZONTE

A Belo Horizonte postcard, which before had been greenish and foul smelling, within less than a year was turned into something appropriate for fishing and boating. This was possible thanks to a combination of two products certified by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).

The Viva Pampulha (Pampulha Alive) consortium was contracted by City Hall in March of last year for R$30 million (US$ 9,5 million) for the purpose of cleaning up the water of the Pampulha lake to make it appropriate for fishing and practicing nautical sports - a goal reached in January.

Erwin Oliveira - 1º.jan.17/FramePhoto/Folhapress
Pampulha Lake
Pampulha Lake

These activities, however, depend on regulation from the Federal Environmental Secretary and tests which confirm that the lake is being maintained at the third level classification of CONAMA (National Environmental Council), which permits secondary contact with the water.

One of the products utilized, Enzilimp, is a bioremediatory used for recuperating the equilibrium of the lake. The bacteria present in the product degrade the organic material that comes from pollution, transforming it into water and carbon gas.

The other, Phoslock, works to combat cyanobacteria, which produce toxins and turn the water a green color. It is essentially a kind of clay ionically modified to attract phosphorus - the principal food source for these organisms - present in the water, generating aother substance which is harmless to the environment.

The work of maintaining Pampulha will be carried out throughout and until the end of this year. City Hall doesn't have plans to go on with additional clean-up which would move the lake into CONAMA's second level category.

According to specialists, the products can be utilized in any type of water environment, especially lakes and reservoirs like the Billings and Guarapiranga dams.

The cleaning operations being carried out today at the dams consist of garbage removal and sewage treatment, according to SABESP, São Paulo's sanitation company.

Since 2011, the Nossa Guarapiranga (Our Guarapiranga) Program has removed 15,1 thousand m³ of garbage and 109 thousand m³ of aquatic plants from the spring's waters.

At Billings, an expansion is underway for the sewage collection and treatment system at a cost of US$ 123 million.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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