Mumbai: Moving a step closer towards its plan of equitable and 24x7 water supply for Mumbai and to take the load off freshwater supply, the BMC is planning to make it mandatory for bulk water users to reuse recycled water from its waste water treatment facilities or face a 25 per cent water cut.

Through this plan, the civic body aims to reduce demand for freshwater from 135 litres per capita per day (LPCD) to 90 LPCD. The civic body this year proposed an overall budgetary provision of Rs 402.55 crores for the Mumbai sewage project.

The plan, according to the civic body, will help reduce the load of fresh water supply by at least 1350 MLD. The "master" plan will not only help BMC promote reuse of waste water for non-potable purposes but also meet the increase in water supply-demand due to population growth.

Mumbai has wastewater treatment facilities/Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) at Colaba, Worli, Bandra and Dharavi, Versova, Bhandup, Ghatkopar and Malad.

The facilities primarily treat wastewater that has been used in the city and then releases it into the sea. However, BMC is upgrading treatment facilities so that they will be able to treat water at the tertiary level. Once upgraded by 2025, the facilities will treat 2,484 million litres of waste water per day (MLD).

The civic body is now planning to make it mandatory for housing societies that have Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) on their premises to use treated water for non-potable purposes such as toilet flushing, watering gardens and washing open spaces, or face up to 25% water cuts in the future

As per its new master plan, the BMC is planning to use 1350 MLD (50 % of the total 2700 MLD sewage) of treated water for non-potable purposes. The rest of the reused water will be released into the sea after it is treated as per requirements of the pollution control board.

It will also tap bulk consumers of water such as 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.

For this, the civic body will be including a compulsory clause in the contracts of new STP contractors to supply at least 20 per cent recycled water to bulk water users.

A senior official of Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project (MSDP) department, which monitors the project, said, “Public outreach is going to be an essential part of this plan.

We need to create public awareness about the need to reuse water and also make it mandatory for housing societies that have STPs in the premises to start using treated water or face a water cut."

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