Home Articles New Smart Cities made Smarter – Small Sewage Treatment Plants

Smart Cities made Smarter – Small Sewage Treatment Plants


44 Small Sewage Treatment Plants

Water is a resource and can be either renewable or depletable depending on the extraction rate, usage and disposal mechanisms. Human settlements depended on water resources and cities grew where there were rivers and that is why great civilizations have been named after rivers.

Advancement in technologies led to tapping into resources that were far from reach and one of the most extracted resources in modern times is water. In India, we have progressed to highly sophisticated ways of extracting ground water for our industrial and domestic consumption. Agriculture also greatly depends on ground water due to erratic rainfall patterns.

Urban India utilizes water in bigger volume and the thirst for water is increasing at a very high rate. This demand for consumption is also met with equal demand for treatment of water that flows out of each urban dwelling. Traditional and conventional methods of sewers and central sewage treatment are challenged with many factors such as availability of land, fund allocation and other sociopolitical issues. In this juncture, there is a need for complete rethinking on smarter ways of water and sewage management.

Smart cities should not be seen as technically advanced urban space but as space intelligently Hospital with 100 beds treating water and reusing in the premisesmanaged with optimal resource used with least resource footprints. Water becomes one of the most used resources and most disposed as waste. Smarter cities should be able to reduce the extraction, have effective and efficient treatment and intelligent ways of disposal and further reuse the same water as resource. Water should be available for reuse with the shortest route from source to sink or in other words from “Cradle to Cradle”.

Small water and sewage treatment plants should become part of micro-society (dwelling complex, commercial building, office, common place, park, etc) or even be available in individual homes. Water from ground should be available for each of these units to extract exact amount of water that will be needed to supply to the micro community and the same amount of water is recharged to the source. The groundwater when recharged with treated sewage passes through different layers of soil which serves as bio filter and enhances the water with natural minerals.

Fully Under ground STP under walk way in front of the officeSmall sewage treatment plants is a smart solution for smart cities. The advantages with small sewage treatments are many, some worthwhile mentioning are the space requirement and the benefit of not having to run sewers all over cities and dwellings. The small sewage treatment uses SBR technology that is fully automatic and has the highest performance compared to other technologies. The plant can be placed under the ground, thus saving space that can be allocated for other purposes. The entire sewage treatment plant can be under the road, walkway or even under a playground. Capital cost for such small sewage plants is very low considering the high investment required for central underground sewers, while operational cost is also extremely low due to advancement of technology that is available for small sewage treatment plants.

It does not matter how many plants are there, all plants can be operated from a central location using a web based monitoring and operation system.  What is interesting is that each plant operates according to the volume of water that comes into the plant. When there is low or no inflow, the plant goes into sleep mode. The treated water can be reused, recycled and be used for ground water recharge, etc. All the above, such systems perform to meet treatment quality beyond the stipulated regulations and are ready to meet with future stringent regulations.

A fully automatic STP in a house- Treated water used for gardeningBy having such localized solutions smart cities can overcome many problems that municipalities face in providing the common services such as water supply, sewers and central sewage treatment plants. Indirectly, smart cities will close the loop of water cycle closer to the source and will make these cities sustainable. Dependency on external resources can be minimized by extracting the nutrients in treated waste water. Street side farming and open space farming can meet the demand for farm produces like vegetables and fruits to a high degree. Just by reducing the water loop, smart cities can aim at closing the energy, consumable loop and eventually reduce the dependency on logistics and other mineral oil resource.

The short water cycle is the first step to a smart, sustainable and responsible lifestyle.

4. Small Sewage Treatment Plants

33 Small Sewage Treatment Plant are suited where

–    Urbanization happens outside the municipal limits
–    Small to mid size communities of 100- 2000 people
–    Land is expensive and land usage needs maximum coverage
–    Plants available from 1 KLD to 1 MLD

Mode of operation

–    Fully automatic

Space requirement

–    Underground, can even be under walkway, parks, roads, etc.

Treated water usage

–    Gardening, Groundwater reuse, flushing, even for drinking after subsequent proper treatment

3. Small Sewage Treatment Plant are suited where

22 Advantages of Small STP

–    Easy to construct
–    Need not plan for extensive sewage network
–    Lessen the burden on Municipalities and corporations
–    Sewers are difficult to construct.

2. Advantages of Small STP

11 Author’s Bio

Kannan Pasupathiraj is the Managing Director of Klaro India-EcoTec Engineers and Consultants. He has worked in different capacities Internationally in the field of Sustainable Development and Post Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. Mr. Pasupathiraj’s commitment to the environment can be seen from the sterling examples he sets in his own personal and entrepreneurial venture.  This contribution is also outcome of  the exemplary attempt he has made to reuse and recycle sewage from homes, offices and industries.

For further details:
Klaro India
1. Author’s Bio



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