Background: In the modern age of globalization and fast industrialization, the environmental
matters are fetching more and more annoyance for human being. Patents reveal that heavy metals occur
in immobilized form in sediments and as aggregates in nature. However due to the different human activities
like ore mining and industrial processes, the natural biogeochemical cycles are disordered instigating
amplified deposition of heavy metals in aquatic environments. The most common pollution causing
heavy metals are considered to be the mercury, arsenic, lead, copper, silver, cadmium.
Objective: The goal of this work is to identify the biological action of heavy metal-contaminated water
and sediments which can be categorized into bioaccumulation, biosorption, oxidation/ reduction, leaching,
degradation, and phytoremediation.
Discussion: Among the various biological methods for decontamination of heavy metals from water,
biosorption is known to be the most affordable, economical and efficient option for the management of
capacious water bodies encompassing low concentrations of heavy metals. However, the physicochemical
properties of the aquatic bodies that would extremely affect the performances of biosorbents should
be prudently measured. The precipitation is efficient in decontamination/removal of relatively high concentrations
of metals in water. The bioleaching of searched sediments in regulated systems is a speedy
process as compared with phytoremediation.
Conclusion: In order to decontaminate the heavy metals from water, biological methods are very proficient
and useful. These methods can be very efficient in cleaning up environment.