Mumbai: In order to chalk out a policy and explore ways to find buyers/users for its recycled and treated wastewater, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is appointing a consultant. Civic officials claim that a masterplan will outline the framework for the reuse of tertiary-treated effluents from all seven of Mumbai’s sewage treatment plants (STPs), and serve as a guiding document to build infrastructure for recycled water in a phased manner.
According to civic officials, the consultant will carry out a survey to help frame the policy. This policy, in turn, will help the BMC promote the reuse of wastewater for non-potable purposes to meet the increased demand owing to urbanisation and population growth. Mumbai has wastewater treatment facilities at Colaba, Worli, Bandra, Dharavi, Versova, Bhandup, Ghatkopar, and Malad. The facilities carry out primary treatment of wastewater that has been used in the city and release it into the sea.
However, the BMC is upgrading the treatment facilities so that they will be able to treat effluents at the tertiary level.
The idea of framing a policy is to tap bulk consumers of water, such as the Railways, metros, bus depots, car service stations, residential and commercial complexes, dyeing industries, pharmaceutical companies, mechanical industries, RMC plants, gardens, racecourse, universities, colleges, and schools, public toilets, stadiums, fire brigade stations, malls, IT parks, airports, marriage halls and hospitals, which can reuse treated water for non-potable purposes.
Once upgraded by 2025, the seven STPs will treat 2,484 million litres of wastewater per day. BMC is planning to use 1,350 MLD (50 % of the total 2,700 MLD sewage) of treated water for non-potable purposes, such as gardening, car washing in garages and flushing, etc. The rest of the reused water will be released into the sea after it is treated, as per the requirements of the pollution control board. The consultant will help the civic body explore buyers/users for the remainder of the treated water.
“The consultant is expected to first prepare a plan for the Colaba wastewater treatment facility, which is in its final stage of upgradation and then take up work on the Worli and Bandra facilities, followed by Bhandup and Ghatkopar, and finally Versova and Malad,” said a senior official from Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) department, which is monitoring the project.
“Our projects have faced delays due to frequent changes in discharge norms by the statutory controlling authorities such as the MPCB, National Green Tribunal (NGT) and even Supreme Court orders.
Meanwhile, the work of constructing an STP in the Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, Byculla, has begun and the recycled and treated wastewater from this STP will be used for gardening and cleaning at the zoo.
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