We all assume that our municipality would ensure that the water supply is pure before it reaches our home; therefore, we scarcely give a second thought to our local riverbank that is covered in brown matter or freshwater lake that smells like rotten eggs.
While, the identical water runs through your kitchen faucet, you appear to think that it is clean. Is it true, though?
We think that we have continuous access to clean water that is fit for human consumption right out of the tap, similar to the most developed nations in the world, and as if our rivers and lakes were never polluted in the first place, and if each of us cleaned up our own mess instead of dumping it on the planet and its precious water sources!
Water management and treatment systems are a dystopian nightmare in India!
Untreated sewage, which makes up a startling 70–80% of all sewage in this nation of 135 billion people, is the main cause of water pollution. In a number of cities, the present treatment capacity remains underutilized, while a lot of sewage is released without treatment in the same city.
What is a sewage treatment plant?
Wastewater and sewage are processed and treated at sewage treatment plants to create a cleaner "effluent", which can be recycled back into the environment safely. They aid in groundwater balance restoration, disease prevention, and halting environmental deterioration and pollution.
In housing societies, the treated water can be utilised for non-potable uses, such as gardening, washing cars, building, irrigation and toilet flushing. Let’s look at the maintenance of STPs in apartment complexes.
Importance of STPs in apartment complexes
Water that is cleaner would reduce the number of people who die from water-borne illnesses, have a smaller negative impact on the environment, and, from a much more focused perspective.
Government standards and directives for STPs
Housing developments larger than 20,000 square metres must treat their own wastewater, hence, they must have operational and legal private STPs. Nonetheless, the installation at design level is the duty of the builder who is also expected to maintain it for five years, following occupancy by inhabitants.
Strict regulations governing effluent discharge that limited the quantity of pollutants, which could be released back into aquatic bodies, were put in place by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2015. The standards were loosened in 2017 and larger quantities of pollutants were permitted. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) eliminated the relaxed regulations in 2019, and reinstated strict guidelines for treated wastewater.
The updated standards listed below must now be adhered to by all new and existing STPs in metro and megacities:
Total Suspended Solids - 10 mg/L
Nitrogen - 10 mg/L
COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) - 50 mg/L
Fecal Coliform - 230 per 100
BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) level - 10 mg/L
pH value - 5.5-9.0
How to maintain STP Plant in apartment complexes?
1: A sewage treatment plant (STP) will require desludging and maintenance at least once a year, whereas low-budget STPs requires frequent emptying and monitoring.
2: It needs to be quickly filled up with water after de-sludging, in order to balance the pressure within and outside.
3: Rainwater must never, under any circumstances, enter the STP. Flooding may result and microorganisms may be flushed out.
4: Primary tank and soakaway emptying must be handled on a regular basis by the society, not by the manufacturer's service team.
5: Inspecting the following parts during STP maintenance visits:
· Unobstructed, robust and effective blower and ventilation
· Changing mechanical parts as necessary
· Checking of the pipes and air filters
· Examining the diffuser for bubbles
· Check for colour and smell in biomass
· Effluent quality towards the end
· Repair of all chambers' damage
· Lid seal reliability
· Replacement of valve boxes and diaphragms
For a thorough knowledge of each technique, consult the maintenance instructions manual provided by the sewage treatment manufacturer, like Netsol Water Solutions.
Note: State pollution boards must grant STPs a CFO (Consent For Operation), which must be renewed every five years. Upon the submission of documents, payment of the consent fee, and a comprehensive inspection by regional Board officers, consent is given.
Disadvantages of traditional STPs and their green alternatives
An aerobic STP contains moving parts and requires manual operation, meaning it requires more upkeep and expense. Since, aerobic bacterial colonies need constant oxygen to function, it consumes a lot of electricity, and everyday operation requires the hiring of a qualified professional. One unit might cost anywhere between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, depending on the KLD (kilo litres per day) capacity. A mid-sized society's monthly expenses would thus be over Rs 60,000 (or approx. Rs 20 lakh per annum including labour and electricity for a 200 KLD unit).
Conventional STPs are currently in use as a result of their general acceptability, but as you may have guessed, they are not precisely "install and forget"; instead, they require maintenance and are energy-intensive.
The need for environmentally friendly, self-sustaining STPs that do not increase electricity costs, do not require monitoring, add beauty to the aesthetic ambiance of the premises, and provide chemical-free effluent that is completely safe for people and the environment, is becoming more and more apparent in society.
Use of environmental friendly STPs in apartment complexes
Such technologies use anaerobic microbial inoculum (AMI), which uses components like reed beds above ground and bio-digesters underneath, to break down organic waste into biogas, i.e., constructed wetlands which allow bacteria and microorganisms to clean waste water.
It generates chemical-free biogas for cooking as well as safe non-potable water for reuse. It requires less upkeep. It has shockingly inexpensive cost and easy to install too.
STPs are not only required for larger complexes but also your greatest option for a sustainable future. Making them a way of life is wiser to do sooner rather than later. Let water to flow in a complete circle rather than into innumerable drains and dead ends.
Last but not the least, consult with the wastewater treatment expert!
At Netsol Water, we specialise in providing safe and dependable sewage treatment plants to assist our customers, with the processing and disposal of wastewater safely. Call our experts at +91 9650608473 for more information, or send us a message to start your inquiry.