Dutch assistance to clean the Yamuna

IIT, TERI to join hands with the Netherlands’ universities to set up a network of sewage treatment plants

September 09, 2016 12:28 am | Updated September 22, 2016 05:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI

India is collaborating with the Netherlands to clean the Yamuna.

A consortium of scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) and The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) are teaming up with their peers from the Delft University of Technology, Wageningten University and the Vrije Unversiteit in the Netherlands to set up a network of sewage treatment plants that will clean wastewater in Delhi’s Barapullah drain, which is reportedly responsible for 30 per cent of the pollution of the Yamuna.

The project, which is expected to reach full capacity within five years, can then clean up to a million litres of toxic drain water a day.

Funded by Dutch government and industry and India’s Department of Biotechnology, the Rs. 21 crore project is unique according to those involved as it will use filtration membranes developed by Indian scientists and employ a new anaerobic sewage treatment process.

“What we are experimenting with is to use a decentralised approach towards sewage treatment plants,” said K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, DBT, “as well as implement new technologies.”

“This is a 2-stage process of cleaning water,” said Professor C.R. Babu of the Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, University of Delhi. “The Netherlands has proven experience in this field.” The demonstration plant would be designed and operated along the drain, and will produce biogas and generate water that can be used for agriculture.

“The pollution levels of the Barapullah drain are high and if the technology works well, it should bring the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of the water down to 5 mg per litre,” according to Mr. Babu. BOD, a measure of how much waste water has been cleaned up, reveals the efficiency of a waste water treatment plant.

Currently, the BOD of the Barapullah drain water is 70 mg per litre, he added.

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