Moving towards a trash-free Hussain Sagar Lake in India: Picking solid waste from Picket Drain
The iconic Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad presents a perfect example of an urban water body impacted by an increase in the flow of floating solid waste from upstream. One of the major feeder inlets to the Hussain Sagar lake is the Picket drain. This drain traverses approximately 55 km through areas of diverse built-uses (Bowenpally Begumpet, Rasoolpura slums etc.), ultimately draining into the Hussain Sagar, carrying mixed domestic solid waste.
The floating waste blocks and chokes the drains and inlets resulting in urban flooding, water pollution and significant harm to the local biodiversity and ecosystem.
A tripartite partnership between the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) – Government of Telangana, WRI India and DESMI enabled the implementation of a pilot clean-up system for intercepting and removing floating solid waste from the Picket drain near Hussain Sagar lake as a demonstration project.
In December 2020, DESMI’s Ro-FENCE 600 floating trash barrier and automated recovery unit RISE R-A2100 was installed near the interception and diversion (I&D) structure along the Picket drain to intercept and remove the floating solid waste. Collected waste was segregated and taken to transfer stations or recycling centres. The successful pilot led to the installation of such systems in all inlets of the Hussain Sagar Lake.
Project video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wy7dDgLKbI0
While the floating barrier intercepts and traps the flow of the waste, the two automated recovery units (conveyor belts) recover the floating solid waste collected from the drain to the shore, to be eventually recycled or disposed of properly. These dual automatic conveyor belts facilitate waste recovery directly onto the waterway bank, draining the water in the process.
Through daily monitoring and evaluation of the system we know that around 200-300 kgs of floating solid waste (wet weight) per day is removed from the drain. From December 2020 till July 2021, DESMIs automated clean up system has removed 65-70 Tonnes of floating solid waste (FSW).
The waste collected is primarily mixed domestic solid waste consisting of plastics, wrappers, polyethene, biodegradables such as wooden logs, rubber shoes etc. The WRI team closely monitored the system’s working for a 6-month period.
The technology is environmentally sound and easily replicable. The floating booms can be contextually adapted and scaled depending on the waterbody condition (flow, depth and embankment conditions). In case of Picket drain, the solution has proven to be resilient to various conditions such as erratic rains, high volume of floating solid waste etc. It has proven to withstand such dynamic conditions. Thus, this effort showcased an innovative, cutting-edge and proven technological solution-oriented approach to clean-up solid waste in urban water bodies.