New sewage treatment plants in Indian cities: could dry toilets have been a viable alternative? - and Bengaluru wastewater reuse example

19.1k views

Page selection:
  • KaiMikkel
  • KaiMikkel's Avatar
  • Toilet Activist
  • Posts: 133
  • Karma: 3
  • Likes received: 55

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

What an opportunity lost. The opportunity: leapfrog resource and capital intensive western systems. The loss: foregoing the option of sustainable alternatives.

And to think that the notion of "deep conservation" originated in India...

Kai Mikkel Førlie

Founding Member of Water-Wise Vermont (formerly Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge)

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • pkjha
  • pkjha's Avatar
  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
  • Posts: 177
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 72

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

Dear Elisabeth

National Green Tribunal was established in India in 2010 under an Act passed by the Parliament. It is under the Central Government. It was established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
The Tribunal is headed by Chairman who is a retired Justice of Supreme Court (Highest court in India) or Chief Justice of any State with the members from both judiciary and well known technical experts. Present Chairman is the Ex, Justice of Supreme Court of India.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction over all civil cases where a substantial question relating to environment(including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment), is involved and such question arises out of the implementation of the enactments specified.
Whoever, fails to comply the order of the Tribunal, shall be punishable with imprisonment or with fine or both, as decided by the Tribunal. Against the order of the Tribunal one can appeal only in the Supreme Court of India.
Redisson Hotel was sealed i.e., closed. No new booking of rooms for guests was allowed. The existing guests in the hotel were allowed to continue till their planned checkout dates. Similar closure of some hotels was reported also in a City named Puri located at the western coast of Bay of Bengal, Orissa State in India only 2 days before. In this case also waste water from hotels was being discharged into Bay of Bengal without any treatment.
Tribunal through the State Pollution Control Board sends notice to such polluting industries/ establishments giving suitable time to treat waste before discharge. Tribunal takes action as per its mandates if order is not complied appropriately.
Persons concerned with the environment protection in India are mostly happy with the Tribunal’s effective decisions in recent months.

pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha
The following user(s) like this post: Carol McCreary

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 929

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

Thanks for your replies, Vishwanath (Zenrainman) and Pawan. Very interesting.

Just a few clarification questions to your posts:

Vishwanath:
  1. What did you mean by: "these are the best of times and the worst of times for waste-water in Bengaluru"?
  2. Is there any talk in your city about reducing the amount of wastewater generated? E.g. via reduction of water use (demand management)?
  3. What fraction of the 10 mio people are connected to the sewer system presently and will the connection rate be rapidly expanded?
  4. Would people really drink the treated wastewater in that appartment building, and which treatment process is being used there? Must be something with membrane filtration? But in any case people don't tend to drink tap water in Indian cities but drink only bottled water, I thought? (my husband recently had an Indian water engineer visiting here in Germany and it took him about 20 minutes to convince him that drinking from the tap in Germany is safe...)
  5. When you are saying "One experiment we are assisting in is to use treated waste-water for artificial recharge of the shallow aquifer.", then who is "we"?
  6. Are you agreeing with this trend of building more and more large treatment plants or would you argue for other alternatives? Like those decentralised treatment plants, would you say they are inherently better or it depends? (I guess dry toilets are out of the question for a densely populated city like this one)
  7. (Bangalore is now Bengaluru? New name to remember :-) )

Pawan:

I just listened to your featured user interview, very interesting! (see: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/145-fe...jha-from-india#13409)
It explains further some of the points you made here.

It is really interesting what you say about the importance of political will. How great that there is finally a person in charge who has a strong political will. How powerful is the Chairman of the National Green Tribunal of India though? Which ministry is that connected with? What are his responsibilities?

And what did you mean by "Only yesterday, a Five Star Hotel- Redisson Blue, was sealed for discharging untreated waste water, into a drain leading to nearby Ganga River at Haridwar." I don't understand what "was sealed" could mean in this context? Was fined? Was closed?

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • pkjha
  • pkjha's Avatar
  • Working for over 30 years in the fields of sanitation, biogas from human wastes, septage management, waste water treatment in rural as well as urban areas in India and other developing countries.
  • Posts: 177
  • Karma: 11
  • Likes received: 72

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

Dear All
Proper treatment of waste water in urban areas in India is a serious challenge. In Metros and Class I cities there are STPs, however, only a few of them are functioning to meet the norms of discharge of effluent. It’s quite difficult to find any Metro / Class I city having 100% collection system of sewage. STPs are rarely available in Class II, III and IV towns (that constitute over 90% of towns/ cities. nos.). There is a huge opportunity for waste water treatment particularly for decentralized systems in India.
Recently the National Green Tribunal of India headed by Hon'ble Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar,is taking very effective steps to overcome the problems of pollution and waste management. Only yesterday, a Five Star Hotel- Redisson Blue, was sealed for discharging untreated waste water, into a drain leading to nearby Ganga River at Haridwar.
The NGT has issued notices to all polluting industries and State Governments / Local bodies located near the bank of Ganga and Yamuna River, with the direction to take action in a stipulated time. It is hoped that the results of the action of NGT will be visible to common people soon. There are a lot of positive changes in recent months.
NGT is not a new in India, neither the rules are new, only the present Chairman is new. Therefore, it is the will power of the top functionary that makes difference, not the fund and technology. If there is will, fund and technology to overcome pollution will follow soon.
Pawan
Pawan Jha
Chairman
Foundation for Environment and Sanitation
Mahavir Enclave
New Delhi 110045, India
Web: www.foundation4es.org
Linked: linkedin.com/in/drpkjha

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Vishwanath
  • Vishwanath's Avatar
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 4

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

There is quite a bit of seriousness to treat waste-water in my city Bengaluru for example. The city generates 1100 million litres of waste-water daily and is setting up 11 additional sewage treatment plants to the existing 14 to treat most of the waste-water generated by the end of 2016. In addition it is mandatory for all apartments and residential plotted developments with ore than 50 units to have their own WWTP's and reuse the water completely.
Some interesting developments include one set of apartments treating and blending their waste-water with fresh water and drinking it . This is the first such reuse system of its kind in India . The head of the State Pollution Control Board has given his seal of approval by drinking it himself . An article in the newspaper on this here www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-nationa...e/article6073612.ece

There are an estimated 650 small scale WWTP's in Bengaluru treating a total of about 210 Million litres per day. One experiment we are assisting in is to use treated waste-water for artificial recharge of the shallow aquifer. Some details of the 240 KLD system here www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.101531....119756927607&type=3 . Another 10 MLD reatment plant located in a place called Jakkur treats the water and after it is further polished in a wetland it fills up a 50 hectare lake. Fish is reared in this lake and is harvested plus the aquifers around are recharged A small writeup here www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-feature...r/article5355922.ece and bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/en-...story-of-jakkur-lake All in all these are the best of times and the worst of times for waste-water in Bengaluru population 10 million.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • Elisabeth
  • Elisabeth's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager at GIZ and SuSanA secretariat, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
  • Posts: 3372
  • Karma: 54
  • Likes received: 929

Re: Sewage Treatment in India: "We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory"

I am wondering if this is just "political talk" or if something real has changed in India.
I suspect that legislation was already existing in India that said all sewage must be treated but it was simply not enforced in many cases? Has something changed now?

Or is the new aspect now a greater emphasis on reuse?

I know that in some developing countries, the expected effluent quality standards from wastewater treatment plants are really high (higher than necessary for some reuse applications, e.g. removing nutrients even if they would be useful for agriculture), but that in most cases these standards are not achieved and not enforced.

This is where the WHO Guidelines from 2006 would come in handy which explain what treatment steps are recommended for what reuse application:

WHO (2006). WHO Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater (Vol. II) - Wastewater Use in Agriculture. WHO/UNEP/FAO
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/348

On the topic of reuse, there is also a Wikipedia article on "reclaimed water" which is waiting to be improved further by someone:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reclaimed_water

My husband who is in the traditional wastwater treatment plant industry (large centralised plants) told me there is lots of business for them in India (this is the company if anyone is interested: www.passavant-ee.com). So I guess there is a bit of a boom for wastewater treatment plants there now? This is good and bad. Let's hope that the plants that they build are the right ones and can be operated well so that they don't fall into disrepair after some years or are becoming to expensive to operate when energy prices rise.


Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
Located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/elisabethvonmuench/
The following user(s) like this post: Carol McCreary, F H Mughal

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
  • F H Mughal
  • F H Mughal's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer
  • Posts: 1026
  • Karma: 20
  • Likes received: 227

New sewage treatment plants in Indian cities: could dry toilets have been a viable alternative? - and Bengaluru wastewater reuse example

Sewage Treatment in India
According to the The Daily WASH, Edition of 19 April 2015, in India, the environment ministry has decided to divert sewage from entering the water bodies. According to the special secretary of the environment ministry: “We are taking action so that no untreated sewage is released in water bodies or underground water. We are making collection, transportation, treatment and finally reuse of sewage mandatory. Reuse for all non-potable purposes like in industrial process, gardening, cleaning of railway tracks and irrigation. We are issuing notification for it. This is a major decision.”

As a person, familiar with this type of water pollution in Pakistan, and knowing fully well, how difficult it is in view of immense obstacles, this is, no doubt, a major, major decision. Full marks to the Indian environment ministry for taking this bold step.

In the Sindh province of Pakistan, municipal sewage treatment is almost negligible. Most industries here do not treat their wastewater. All untreated municipal and industrial wastewaters are discharged in the surface water bodies, including Indus River. We do have here the effluent discharge standards – on paper only.

The Indian environment ministry seems very serious, as the special secretary of the ministry says:
“Sewage is the main cause of water pollution. Sewage treatment can no longer be delayed for want of money. The time has come for it. The message was that if one state can do it, others can also do it. We have also prescribed standards for treated effluent of sewage—basically what should be the quality after treatment.”

While, there will be many problems, when undertaking this exercise, I wish the Indian environment ministry all the success in this bold initiative!

More details can be seen here:

www.livemint.com/Politics/PeMgVuICxhYwyj...om-water-bodies.html

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
The following user(s) like this post: canaday, christoph, Sowmya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

You need to login to reply
Page selection:
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 0.253 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum