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Wastewater recycling in Loyola College

By Our Staff Reporter



U.S Consul-General Richard Haynes at the ground-breaking ceremony for the wastewater treatment plant at the Loyola College campus in Chennai on Tuesday. — Photo: Vino John

CHENNAI, NOV. 24. Loyola College is installing a wastewater recycling plant based on U.S. technology here which will halve the college's water bills. The recycled water will be used for sanitary and gardening purposes.

The low-cost, eco-friendly plant will treat around 50,000 litres generated every day from the college hostels, canteen, mess and staff quarters.

The project, when commissioned, will reduce the water needs of the college and contribute to improved environmental management through wastewater recycle and reuse.

The plant, with an operating cost of less than Re. 1 a litre, is expected to cut by half water bills of Rs. 2 lakh annually. The college buys about 60,000 litres every day.

The U.S. Consulate has sponsored the Rs. 15 lakh `ReCip', or reciprocating water technology system, developed and patented by the Tennessee Valley Authority and licensed to Environmental Systems LLC, U.S.

Flow system

The sub-surface flow system is designed to provide aeration to wastewater by alternately filling and draining interconnected pair-wetland units. The system operates in all three typical wastewater treatment regimes — aerobic, anaerobic and anoxic on every fill and drain cycle.

The plant is being installed at the Loyola College with the collaboration of the United States Asia Environmental Partnership and the United States Agency for International Development. The Hyderabad-based Ramky Infrastructure Ltd,. is executing the project and expects to complete installation by the January-end.

The groundbreaking for the plant, which will come up on a 400 sq. m. site, was held on Tuesday.

United States Consul-General, Richard Haynes, said though there were bound to be small disagreements between US and India " as in a family," there was still considerable common ground for both countries to work on. Environment was one area of mutual cooperation, he said.

S. Balaji, Director of Environment, emphasised the importance of developing innovative technologies, which required less extent of land and lower operation and maintenance costs. The case of several sewage treatment plants was that after installation they were not operated due to high costs.

Model plant

The Managing Director, Ramky Infrastructure, Rangaswamy, said the plant could be a model for other institutions and small communities.

Flexible in design, economical to build and having versatile applications in remediating (cleaning) a variety of contaminants including heavy metals, ammonia, pathogenic organisms and suspended solids are the benefits of the ReCip technology.

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