Thai people throwing mud balls at flood water to clean it up
Nov 17, 2011
With stagnant water still present in Thailand after weeks of flooding, thousands of Thais have taken to throwing treated mud balls into the water in an attempt to improve sanitation, IRIN reports.
This method may seem far-fetched to some, however EM Research Organization (EMRO), the company that invented the balls, claims that they purify the water and reduce its odor, which improves sanitation levels.
The balls, known as EM or effective micro-organisms, are composed of a variety of microbes including lactic acid bacteria, yeast and phototrophic bacteria as well as a mixture of molasses, dried dirt and rice. According to EMRO, the balls work to re-establish high populations of beneficial micro-organisms in the water and stop the growth of bad microbes.
The government and humanitarian groups have been handing out the EMs, which are also given out in liquid form, to thousands of residents who then throw the balls into the numerous puddles throughout the nation.
The treatment has only been tested in rivers and ponds, not flood water, so many researchers have been flocking to Thailand to see if the unique method will actually work. Some are skeptical of its effects and the Thai government is in talks with WHO and UNICEF to possibly conduct an independent study on its effects, as a way to see if it could be a real aid in the future.