Design and development of bio-treatment technique for Decentralized Wastewater Treatment system

Safe use of wastewater could be a potential source of irrigation water in agriculture, especially for vegetable growers in peri-urban areas. There are however number of limitations for wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture such as mismatch between demand and water supply; health hazards, salinity, treatment capacity and over nutrient application, etc. We believe that Decentralized Wastewater Treatment (DWT) system will address number of these problems and water scarcity issues at local scale. The rationale behind developing DWT is to minimize potential health hazards to the public; direct use of wastewater in agriculture could negatively affect farmers and consumers, disposal of untreated wastewater pollutes environment, and all localities do not have sewage treatment plants. In 2014, we have constructed wastewater treatment system at five locations, and made preliminary assessment on these alternative methods. From our short term observation, the wastewater treatment process showed higher efficiency for total suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and coliforms. Following these positive insights, off-campus wetlands were constructed as part of scaling up activity. The research activities in 2015 includes a) Capitalizing on our preliminary observation in 2014, assessing and quantifying the effect of various wetland plant species, namely Ageratum conyzoides, Typha latifolia and Canna indica for bio-treatment of domestic wastewater interms of wetland health indicators. The indicators include water quality, nutrient load over time, suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, coliforms and other ecosystem services; b) intensive monitoring and assessing the performance of the newly established waste water treatment system at ICRISAT campus; and c) modelling and simulation of drivers and effects to understand various processes in various wetlands.