Effective mud ball ‘treatment’
By TAN SIN CHOW
THE water within a 100m radius off the Gurney Drive coast in Penang is now less murky and smelly, thanks to the 200,000 effective microorganism (EM) mud balls which were thrown into the sea on Aug 8.
State Youth, Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi said the mud balls had also helped to break down the sludge and reduce the growth of algae in the sea.
“Sludge has been significantly reduced as can be seen from the measurement tape placed by the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID). It has reduced by 10cm.
“The water is clearer now during low tide,” she told reporters after a site inspection on Wednesday.
The EM mud balls were earlier thrown into the sea in a move to revive aquatic life and remove sludge. The massive bio-remedial campaign titled ‘A Million Apologies to Mother Earth’ was a statewide programme.
Ong hoped that the mud balls would help restore the seafront promenade which used to be a popular picnic spot for Penangites in the 70s.
Over the years, the beach has been covered with mud and sludge due to development and pollution.
Ong said the state government was planning to set up an EM mud ball research centre at each district to further educate the public on the importance of such a technology.
The EM technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms to purify water which in turn will revive aquatic life.
It is currently being used in more than 130 countries. EM technology is widely used to purify water and sewage, and improve recycled water.
What is EM ??
E.M. is an abbreviation for EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISMS Microorganisms are tiny units of life that are too small to be seen with the naked eye and they exist everywhere in nature. Microorganisms are crucial for maintaining the ecological balance. They carry out chemical processes that make it possible for all other organisms including humans to live. There are friendly guys of the microbial worlds known as beneficial microorganisms and a not so friendly group called pathogens that are harmful and capable of producing disease, decay and pollution. Learn more here on EM and What is EM?
The EM Mud balls are useful as one of the environmental solutions towards reducing water pollutants and thus improving water quality in our rivers and drains. The fermentation emitted from the mud balls will alleviate or destroy the ammonia nitrogen found in human effluents and sewerage leakages into the water system. These mud balls will be drop at Parit 4 near Desa Damai Bukit Mertajam which is a very seriously polluted waterway. The exercise will be carried out every 4 months.