Reuse of treated wastewater in Bengaluru, India

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  • Rohinipradeep
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  • Sanitation and Wastewater Expert, having 15-year experience in the Sector. Currently working with CDDIndia as Project Manager. Got more than 15 years of experience in designing, implementing engineering solutions for management of wastewater, faecal sludge management, waterbody rejuvenation and drain remediation across India and South Asia.
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Re: Reuse of treated wastewater in Bengaluru, India

Dear Paresh,

Thanks for highligting this project,  a very interesting and a path breaking inititaives taken up by BWSSB, Minor irrigation department of Karnataka. The idea of filling the tanks with secondray treated wastewater for irrigation and indirect ground water recharge is very good initiative. The reuse of wastewater from open channels for irrigation has been traditional practice in and around the Bangalore due to the non- availability of fresh water for the irrigation. The Farmers aware that the wastewater brings an advantage of both water and nutrients that are required for plant growth.

However, during the course of wastewater flow there are lot of commercial and industrial establishments discharging the untreated effluent to the sewer systems/open channel which will worsen the quality of water. This is becoming major challenges for any sewage treatment plant to address.  The current practice of secondary treated water mainly focuses on removing organic matter and some portion of nutrients from the wastewater. There is a requirement of tertiary treatment based on the quality of water that is being discharged to Sewage treatment plant from the catchment areas. This requires the continous monitoring of the water quality at different points to understand the contamination sources and level of treatment required. This can be achieved through collabrating with various institutions in Bangalore and Kolar Distrcits.  Along with upgradation of treatment system, a treatment wetlands can be integrated at the inlet of the each lake which will help in reduction of nutrients as well as further polishing of secondary treated water. 

Interms of stakeholder management, a well developed IEC programs to be developed and executed for residents and farmers who are living next to these lakes. The program should cover the impacts of treated water, some of the regular operations and maintenance required and key monitoring protocols to check the quality of water and yield produced from the farming practices.

This project is one of the path breaking demonstrated model to replicate in many other towns, however the learnings from this project calls for a detailed EIA studies before the implementation and requires developement of project specific regular monitoring protocols to ensure the quality of water. 
Best Regards
Rohini Pradeep
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CDD Society
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  • paresh
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Reuse of treated wastewater in Bengaluru, India

Dear All,
Sharing this interesting piece  on Banglaore's KC valley project that treats 440 MLD wastewater which is directed to neighbouring drought prone districts for recharge of groundwater. An assessment by a leading research institute  highlights a tenfold increase in groundwater recharge rates, enhanced groundwater quality, and improved agricultural productivity.

However, a quick search brings to the fore the scepticism of farmers, the key stakeholder in the project. I however, couldn't find how it was overcome. 

Some other issues that I'd like to know more about include:
  • How did the various organisations and stakeholder come together?  I am reminded that the ongoing water crisis in Banagalore is partly because of scattered institutions (see on-going discussion ).
  • What quality control measures are put in place? 
Feel free to engage with these questions as well as share case studies of reuse of treated wastewater.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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