Water pollution is one of the most serious environmental challenges facing India today.
These pollutants not only degrade the quality of water but also pose a threat to the health and livelihood of millions of people who depend on these water resources.
One of the most affected water bodies in India is the river Ganga, which is considered sacred by millions of Hindus.
The Ganga flows through 11 states and covers a distance of 2,525 km, providing water to about 40% of India’s population.
However, the river also receives about 1.3 billion liters of sewage and 260 million liters of industrial waste every day, making it one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The pollution has led to the loss of biodiversity, the spread of diseases, and the decline of religious and cultural values associated with the river.
The company has designed, developed, and deployed a modular system called the AlphaMERS River Cleaning System (ARCS), which consists of floating barriers, trash collectors, conveyor belts, shredders, compactors, and solar panels.
The system intercepts floating waste from rivers and canals, segregates it into organic and inorganic fractions, and converts it into useful products such as compost and briquettes.
The ARCS works on the principle of using the natural flow of water to bring trash to the riverbank.
➡️ The floating barriers are placed diagonally across the water body and have a mesh design to minimize drag forces.
➡️ The barriers allow boat traffic to pass unhindered while arresting the plastics and other solid waste.
➡️ The trash collectors then scoop up the waste and transfer it to the conveyor belts, which transport it to the shredders and compactors.
➡️ The shredders cut the waste into smaller pieces and separate the organic from the inorganic materials.
➡️ The organic waste is converted into compost using aerobic digestion, while the inorganic waste is compressed into briquettes using hydraulic pressure.
➡️ The solar panels provide power to the system and also charge batteries for backup. The system is remotely monitored and controlled using sensors and cameras.
The ARCS has several advantages over conventional methods of river cleaning, such as boats with conveyors or nets.
📌 Firstly, it is a low-cost solution that does not require any fossil fuel or manpower to operate.
📌 Secondly, it is a continuous solution that works 24×7 in rain or shine using a natural flow of water.
📌 Thirdly, it is an eco-friendly solution that does not generate any secondary pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.
📌 Fourthly, it is a value-added solution that converts waste into useful products that can be sold or used for various purposes.
The ARCS has been successfully installed in several locations in India, such as the Cooum River in Chennai, the Tapi River in Surat, the Ulhas River in Mumbai, the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, etc.
According to Capt. Sekhar, the ARCS has removed over 2 million kilograms of plastics from these water bodies in 2018 alone.
This has prevented these plastics from entering the sea and harming marine life. The ARCS has also improved the water quality, clarity, fish growth, and health in these water bodies.
The ARCS is a remarkable example of how technology can be used to solve environmental problems in India. It demonstrates how innovation can be driven by local needs and challenges rather than imported solutions.
It also shows how entrepreneurship can create social impact and economic value at the same time. The ARCS is a testament to the vision and passion of Capt. Sekhar and his team at AlphaMERS, have dedicated themselves to cleaning India’s water bodies and making them fit for life again.