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Sewage water treatment in Apartments

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I have a question regarding operation of sewage treatment plants in apartments. 

I live in a community which has 300+ flats, and we have constant complaints on the sewage treatment plant from the KSPCB. One of the major complaints is about the treated water being thrown out to the storm water drain.

To the best of my knowledge, the apartment does not throw water to the storm water drain.  KSPCB seems to be taking random samples from the drain outside the apartment, and does lab tests to "prove" that the e-coli content is above the permissible level, and takes it as an indication that the untreated water/ sludge/  etc is being thrown out from the apartment. There are several apartments upstream of the drain, and I am sure the discharge from several apartments reach the drain in front of our apartment. We have independent lab reports from our STP output to show that the contaminants are within the specified limits. And send it to KSPCB with every reply to their notice. But, we keep getting notices even later.

How can KSPCB make the conclusion that the apartment is discharging untreated water, by looking at the samples from the drain in front of the apartment? According to me, they should take  differential at two points to say that!

The apartment does not have a BWSSB drainage connection. KSPCB advices using the treated water from the STP for flushing, gardening, car wash etc. We consume only about 50% of the treated water for the above mentioned stuff.

KSPCB insists that the excess treated water from the STP, should be taken out of the apartment in tankers, and should not be discharged to the storm water drains. From the perspective of a resident, the disposal in tankers is very costly , and I am not sure, what the rule says about it.

I was assuming that, if the treated water meets certain constraints, such as chemical content, ecoli content, etc, it should be ok to discharge it to the storm water drain. 

On a different note, if I am polluting the environment by discharging the treated water into the storm water drain, wont I be polluting by dumping the tanker load somewhere? 

Can anyone offer references to what the rulebook says?



sanjayv's picture

Some answers

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Here are some answers.  Look at the CFO (Consent for Operation) provided by the PCB. That will contain all the answers. The CFO requires the following 2 items (among others)

(a) provision of sampling points to sample water

(b) They will require that no treated sewage be discharged.

Provision (b) is foolish as admitted to me (off the record) by some PCB officials themselves. No matter what you do... recycling, watering etc., there is no way to use all the treated water in most communities.  Only solution is to discharge.  The way I look at it... most individual homes around discharge raw sewage.  At least we are discharging secondary treated water :-)

I will also bet that all BWSSB STPs do not discharge any better std of water into the lakes.

I think this is a shake down for money.Just follow the right processes required in CFO in terms of testing and reporting.  If this continues, please go meet Mr. Simha who is the Chief Enviromental officer at the KSPCB.  I have heard that he is helpful in shutting down such nonsense. Also, it does not matter what water the PCB takes for sampling.  If they want, they can "convert" any water to good or bad water.  This is from personal experience.

kbsyed61's picture

Is the treated water potable and fit for human consumption?

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(b) They will require that no treated sewage be discharged.

Is that means the swage water is to be treated to the extent that it becomes potable and fit for human consumption? If not then requirement and the present practice is nothing but ritual to fulfill the condition given therein. comment guidelines

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