Burning Issues

Bio-remediation of Waste water

Bio-remediation of Waste water

Ajit Seshadri* 

I have been dabbling with bio-remediation of waste water which happens naturally in nature.  The remedied clean water is consumed by humans and living-beings in nature.

Many a time I have noticed birds and animals, enjoying themselves more in cleaner water than dirty water.

I pay  special attention and observe this phenomenon which happens both in stagnant water i.e pools, ponds or lakes and also in flowing water in canals, rivulets, or a river.

How it occurs is a bio- mechanism termed as "phyto- remediation" in layman words is cleaning up using rocks, stones plants and foliage. As the water flows along, it leaves a trail of good water in the  polluted stretches.  The fish, birds, small mammals, amphibians, and large mammals recognize the good/ cleaner water and would go just there for their habitation. 

In a village pond, you could easily spot the buffaloes flock together in cleaner water and avoid dirty patches. Also a she- buffaloe takes her young calf to safer waters and gets them into the habit.
( What I am telling is no- "Bull-shit" ! - pl. pardon my language all for good-sakes !!..) 

One such waste water plant has been created/ engineered by us at SOS Village Youth Hostel having around 50 boys staying in the Hostel and daily 5000 litres of waste-water- sewage, sullage- bath and wash and kitchen waste water is released and cleaned up. The reuse water created is used for kitchen-gardens, flower-pots and hedges and ornamental 
trees etc.

Here are some excerpts from the report on Decentralized Waste Water Treatment (DEWAT) System in SOS Village Youth Hostel, Tambaram, Chennai.  

“ Several options were considered for construction. However, since the project was the first of its kind in the organization, this novel system was selected to be constructed…….

Detailed site and topographic surveys were used to mark levels of gradient and water flows. As the DEWAT was to be built sourcing a running drain the design was made to allow for the same. Land around the building was excavated to accommodate the chambers. Construction was followed using the design and material specifications with minor 
alterations as per site conditions and in consultation with the organization persons.

The first two chambers are Screen Chamber and a Baffled Septic Tank   which are used for the sedimentation of the sludge, preparing the waste water for filtration.

The second four chambers is Baffled Filter Reactor Chambers  is filled with stone and accomplishes the filtration of the water.  

The third process has four chambers of  Root Zone Treatment  which is planted with Canna, the roots of these plants treat and make clean the waste water.

Canna Plant

DEWATS technology was selected for its low primary investment, requirement of simple technologies/ no use of powered machines etc. DEWATS being energy independent  has no power requirement. Its simple low-level technology/design ensures efficient construction locally with local resources. 

It does not require expensive and sophisticated maintenance. Local communities can easily manage the operation and maintenance, ensuring system sustainability. The campus can continue to use the waters (with minimal BOD and e-coliform levels of the processed water.”

Let the wild lives in nature thrive well in good waters in nature !

*Mr. Ajit Seshadri is a Consultant- Environment,.  He can be contacted at Email ID: seshadri.ajit@gmail.com>  and Ph. No, M: 9840226049

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