Sustainable Water Solutions through Wastewater Treatment and Recycling
India is home to about 16% of the world’s population while supporting only 4% of its water resources (Water in India: Situation and Prospects, UNICEF 2013). India has transitioned from a ‘Water Adequate’ country in 1975 to a ‘Water Stressed’ country today (Grail Research, 2009). To ensure that we do not enter the dreaded ‘Water Scarce’ country list, a sustainable approach to water management is necessary. Treating wastewater and reusing it for non-potable, indirect potable and direct potable uses is prevalent in many countries across the globe. One of the primary challenges to achieving water sustainability is release of untreated wastewater from domestic and industrial sources into natural water bodies like rivers and lakes. This leads to increased water treatment costs for downstream users and for people using untreated water, becomes a health hazard. Untreated industrial effluents are capable of destroying entire ecosystems and prolonged exposure to polluted water can lead to chronic diseases in large population groups. Wastewater treatment has been in practice since the early 18th century and has continuously improved and become more effective over time. Moving away from outdated wastewater treatment methods that require large land area and prolonged operating times to treat wastewater; newer, faster and more compact technologies have been developed that produce a higher quality effluent that can be reused. Moving Bed Bioreactor (MBBR) is a high rate aerobic treatment option that has a smaller footprint and shorter operation time than the conventional activated sludge treatment. In the field of industrial effluent treatment a number of new coagulants like poly aluminium chloride (PAC) and pH controlling dosing systems are available to effectively remove dissolved hazardous substances from the water.