Decentralised sanitation


Vol NO: VOL. 15, ISSUE 89,

"Indian cities generate an estimated 38354 million litres per day (MLD) of wastewater. However, only 8.5 per cent of it is treated according to the Central Pollution Control Board. This is because the existing sewage infrastructure in cities is woefully inadequate to treat all the wastewater generated. Untreated water, unfortunately, can find its way into our rivers and streams, or much worse, seep into the soil to contaminate underground aquifers forever.

In most industrial and urban centres, infrastructural and basic services are stretched to the seams. Hence, it is difficult or well-nigh impossible to integrate newer sections into the sewerage and other services. Even within cities, slum pockets remain unserved, posing a major danger to health.

This is where DEWATS, or decentralised wastewater treatment systems can help. The Centre for Advanced Solutions (CASS), of the Centre for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Society, set up through the collaborative efforts of the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), and the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation Limited (RGRHCL), has initiated several such projects all over India.

DEWATS design

In a general DEWATS design, the wastewater—a combination of grey and

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    Rina Mukherji

    Space constraints prevent Indian cities from laying sewerage lines for new or underserved pockets. DEWATS systems can help here.

    The author is a senior scientific writer from Kolkata.

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