Effective Microorganisms (EM) Technology for Water Quality Restoration and Potential for Sustainable Water Resources and Management

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Water quality has received considerable attention in allocation processes for maximizing the satisfaction of various sectors. However, pollutant impurities that impede adequate supply of water have a detrimental effect on the quality and harmful for living organisms including aquatic life.

This effective microorganism (EM) technology uses naturally occurring microorganisms which are able to purify and revive nature. Applications of EM using the formula known as effective microorganism activated solution (EMAS) have been experimented in several rivers in Malaysia depending on the scale, location, physical and geographical conditions with the principal objective of enhancing and improving the water quality. One of the significant contributions of EM based rehabilitation of polluted and degraded water bodies is to restore aquatic habitats and ecosystems. Existing results of projects via EM technology in solving water quality related problems, and the nationwide campaigns in Malaysia are duly presented. The role of EM-based water restoration approach for sustainability of water resources and prospects of modeling are also discussed. Results clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique for restoration of water quality of degraded/polluted river basin. Valuable lines for further research and acceptance of EM technology for the future are thus suggested as it is believed to be the key to sustained environmental improvement and offers a real opportunity for eco-innovation.

Purification of Waste Water with Effective Microorganisms and its Utilization in Agriculture

A. Okuda and T. Higa, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan

The potential of using Effective Microorganisms (EM) to purify waste water, including that of a sewage system, for recycling purposes was evaluated.

The studies were extended to examine the potential of using treated sewage sludge as a fertilizer in crop production. Long term application of EM reduced the adverse characteristics of waste water.

The quality of the treated water was high, which indicated its potential use for reuse without health hazards. It also enhanced crop growth as measured by its effects on cucumber. Application of EM products to tap water also eliminated the ill effects generally found in chlorinated water. The treated city water was more effective in promoting plant growth. Application of EM to sewage sludge enhanced its value as a fertilizer. Plant growth was enhanced in contrast to application of untreated sludge, which had toxic effects. The value of EM in sanitation programs and the potential of recycling wastes after treatment for nature farming at a low cost is presented on the basis of these studies.