Poland Uses Clams for Biomonitoring, and it Surprisingly Works

While technology overtakes most aspects of human life, certain things are best left to nature. Hence, some countries have put their trust in clams and mussels to help them get rid of water contamination. A Polish man explained that there are 8 clams in the water pump in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. Those clams have triggers attached to them, which close as soon as the water gets toxic. This automatically shuts off the water supply to the city.

The Municipal Water and Sewage Enterprise in Warsaw have confirmed the use of clams and mussels for biomonitoring and clarified their water treatment process. The mollusks need to be acclimatized when they are captured and then there will be monitoring involved to check when their shells start to open.

Clams are sensitive and only leave a slight opening in their shells to feed by filtering water. One clam can analyze 1.5 liters of water within an hour. A computer takes note of how wide the shells of the clams open, measured in degrees. When the quality of the water drops, clams begin to close up and drift away to hide. The clams only serve for three months so they do not get used to the water being tested. After this, they are returned to the same lakes they were taken from.

This bio-monitoring method is thought to be one of the most effective water testing technologies. There are 8M people who are benefited by how water quality is monitored via the use of clams. This method is also being used in Minneapolis in the US.

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

Image credits: Fat Kathy

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