Mumbai: Climatic changes in the recent years have pushed the BMC to look for alternate sources of drinking water. Moving its plan further to treat effluents and convert it into potable water, the civic authority has appointed a consultant to study its feasibility. First such plant on pilot basis will come up at Colaba sewage treatment plant with a capacity upto 12 million litres per day (MLD). The project will take three years to complete.
The BMC supplies 3,850 MLD of water to Mumbai, while the demand has reached upto 4,500 MLD. For several decades, the city has relied only on rainfall through which water stock is collected in seven lakes. However, after the construction of Middle Vaitarna dam in 2012, no new project could be built for an alternate source of water.
This year, the BMC started working on its ambitious Gargai dam project, followed by a desalination plant at Manori in Malad. Now, it has appointed a consultant to study whether treated sewage water can be used for potable or non-potable purposes.
Awareness on acceptance of treated water
“The consultant will study and file a detailed report in the next 4-6 months and the plant will come up in another two-and-a-half years. Our current concern is to change the mindset of the citizens. Treated water is used for drinking purposes in several countries. We will also have to work on awareness, so that people accept treated water,” said a senior civic official. The study included quantity of water that can be treated and reused and whether it is possible to provide the water through an existing network or would require a separate pipeline, the official said.
The remaining sewage plants have been pumping more than 1,800 MLD into the rivers, creeks, or the sea after primary treatment.
The sewage treatment plant in Colaba is already treating waste water to the required standards before allowing it to be released into the nearest water source.
The BMC has also undertaken an ambitious project of construction and upgradation of seven sewerage treatment plants (STPs) at Worli, Bandra, Dharavi, Versova, Malad, Ghatkopar and Bhandup to treat 2,464 million liters of sewage daily under the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project-II (MSDP). These plants have been pumping more than 1,800 MLD into the rivers, creeks, or the sea after primary treatment.