Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUSHR): Cleaning the Barapullah Drain

Researchers at IIT Delhi are collaboratingwith other Indian partners (TERI, NEERI) as well as researchers from Netherlands to take up the ‘cleaning’ of Barapullah drain in Delhi.

The five year project with a budget of Rs 18 crore will study the degradation and removal of conventional pollutants as well as emerging contaminants in the drain, which are a major source of pollution in Yamuna river. Separate labs will be set up at IIT Delhi and at the banks of the drain near the Sun-Dial park to analyse the pollutants. In the first two years different reactor systems will be studied to get a super-efficient reactor with a broader objective to treat 1 million liters of water per day.

The project titled Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse(LOTUS-HR)aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste-) water management approach that will produce clean water that can be reused for various proposes (e.g. industry, agriculture, construction etc.), while simultaneously recovering nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting drain into profitable mines. Special attention will be paid to pathogen removal and removing conventional and emerging pollutants.

Prof. T R Sreekrishnan of the Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology maintains that besides making the water potable it will also be made fit for use in agriculture and industry. “The method entails modification of treatment technology. The aneorobic digestor will treat the water and the semi treated water will go for further treatment.”

What is LOTUS-HR?

This program focuses on the reclamation of urban sewage water for multiple use. Both water reuse application and sewage composition determine the order, number and type of required treatment and reclamation steps. Innovative technologies, based on robust and known processes, will be incorporated in the treatment and reclamation steps, such as anaerobic MBR, of which the biogas can be used for feeding a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), compact wastewater treatment (e.g. BIOPAQ®UBOX) and anaerobic digestion followed by flotation, high production PBR and compact easy replaceable wetlands, based on innovative filling material (e.g. Hydrorock). The overall objective is to control the water quality produced in the various treatment steps for the production of the differently required end qualities related to reuse in e.g. industry, households, or urban agriculture. The proposed treatment technology will consider treating conventional and emerging hazards.

The program will be built around the realisation of a pilot-scale demonstration site, a living lab, in which the different proposed technologies, suitable for the Indian urban situation for waste water treatment and subsequent reclamation, will be implemented, integrated and demonstrated. It will focus on feasibility of proposed technologies in meeting the required removal efficiencies as well as the health impact of use of reclaimed water, evaluated via QMRA and QCRA methodology.

The IIT Delhi team has, in the last few years,also been mapping the entire stretch of Ganga river from the Gaumukh glacier till the Bay of Bengal.—a distance of around 2,500 kms to study the source of pollutants and monitor the antibiotic resistance in the stretch. The researchers have designed a new reactor specifically for advanced treatment purpose.

“Resistance to antibiotics is a serious health hazard. We were able to identify the key contributors to pollution and then look for treatment options,” says Dr Shaikh Z Ahammad of DBEB.

This program focuses on the reclamation of urban sewage water for multiple use. Both water reuse application and sewage composition determine the order, number and type of required treatment and reclamation steps. Innovative technologies, based on robust and known processes, will be incorporated in the treatment and reclamation steps, such as anaerobic MBR, of which the biogas can be used for feeding a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), compact wastewater treatment (e.g. BIOPAQ®UBOX) and anaerobic digestion followed by flotation, high production PBR and compact easy replaceable wetlands, based on innovative filling material (e.g. Hydrorock). The overall objective is to control the water quality produced in the various treatment steps for the production of the differently required end qualities related to reuse in e.g. industry, households, or urban agriculture. The proposed treatment technology will consider treating conventional and emerging hazards.

The program will be built around the realisation of a pilot-scale demonstration site, a living lab, in which the different proposed technologies, suitable for the Indian urban situation for waste water treatment and subsequent reclamation, will be implemented, integrated and demonstrated. The program will focus on feasibility of proposed technologies in meeting the required removal efficiencies as well as the health impact of use of reclaimed water, evaluated via QMRA and QCRA methodology. This test facility, located next to the Barapullah Drain, will lead to education and research possibilities in the Delhi region and capacity building in the area of waste water treatment for reuse.