Rainwater harvesting made mandatory in rural areas too.

Rainwater harvesting made mandatory in rural areas too

Rainwater harvesting mandatory for all commercial/residential buildings above 2,000 sq ft area. The zilla panchayat building at Kottara has such a system, which can collect about 1.30 lakh litres of rainwater during monsoon.


What is Self Sustaining Hydroponics?



With more and more emphasis on Sustainable Water Management it is essential that wastage of water, especially potable or fresh water is minimised. Over the past few years, concepts like Wastewater management or Greywater management have gained huge attention and acceptance. As more and more people are opting for energy efficient solutions, it has created the scope and demand for new ideas like sewage treatment landscapes, wastewater treatment wetlands etc. Today however, we focus on one such idea i.e. Hydroponics.

What is Hydroponics?

What is Hydroponics

Hydroponics is a latin origin word which means working water. It is a process of growing plants in mediums apart from soil but with added nutrients, such mediums could be sand, liquid or even gravel. Hydroponics is based on the main principle of increasing oxygen to the root zone and liquid feed delivered directly to roots. Under the same conditions, a hydroponic plant grows 30-50% faster than a soil plant.

Why Hydroponics plantations over soil gardening?

Why Hydroponics plantations over soil gardening

Unlike plants grown in traditional soil garden, hydroponic plants do not need too much space to grow and hence more number of hydroponic plants can be grown in the same amount of area. This is because the nutrients are delivered to the roots instead of having the roots stretch out in search of the nutrients. This creates much higher oxygen levels in the root zone as compared to a soil garden. The increased oxygen results in an increased nutrient uptake and much higher rates of growth. The nutrient levels are much easier to control in a hydroponic garden compared to soil garden.

What is the role of Hydroponic gardening in a Wastewater Management System?

What is the role of Hydroponic gardening in a Wastewater Management System


As we know that treated greywater is rich in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which are essential for vegetation growth, opting for hydroponic gardening would utilise the greywater to its best potential, thus bringing down not only the costs pertaining to gardening but also the freshwater demand for soil gardening.

How is Wastewater Treatment used for Hydroponics?

  • Wastewater from the kitchen is collected in a Settler Tank.
  • From Settler Tank, it then passes through a baffled reactor where anaerobic reaction takes place. This reaction brings down the BOD level from 350 to 50 approximately.
  • After anaerobic treatment, the water is pumped up in an overhead storage tank.
  • From Overhead storage tank water would flow by gravity to the hydroponic plantations.
  • Hydroponics would remove the nitrates and potash present in the water, at the same time helping the plants to grow.

For every wastewater treatment plant to be completely effective it is very vital to incorporate a system which re-uses the treated water. Nowadays, Hydroponics is proving to be a breakthrough concept that not only increases the growth rate in plants in a safe manner but also re-utilises the waste water.

Delhi: NGT seeks report on rain water harvesting in govt buildings.

Delhi NGT seeks report on rain water harvesting in govt buildings

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and other agencies to prepare a comprehensive report on whether government buildings, bridges and flyovers have installed rain water harvesting systems and if they are functional.


How to convert your landscape into a waste water treatment plant?

How to Convert your Landscape into a Waste Water Treatment Plant

Landscapes provide a calming and serene touch to any space. Landscape architecture can be defined as the skill of incorporating the man-made structures, like buildings, with the natural landscape and planting. Landscape Architecture’s gaining more and more popularity amongst the masses as Landscape architects apply artistic and scientific principles to the planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation of natural and built environments.

Current landscape maintenance practices often have harmful impacts on the environment. Native woodlands and other natural habitats are cleared for urban growth and subsequently vast lawns and manicured arrangements with exoic ornamental plants are planted. These types of landscapes require extensive mechanical equipment, large quantities of water, fossil fuels, pesticides and fertilizers. This places a heavy toll on the ecosystem, pollutes ground waters and causes more frequent destructive flooding.

Essential components of landscaping

Lawns: Lawns are the most basic yet most important component of a landscape design. They act as a unifying factor for any landscape design. Lawns bind together all other components of the landscape such as walkways, garden, ornaments, ponds or patios etc.

Plants and trees: The plants and trees are chosen keeping in mind the climatic conditions of the areas. Trees or plants can be chosen for their ornamental value, ground cover, water usage etc. Combination of trees and plants based on these factors creates a visually appealing scene characterized by contrast, proportion, scale and balance.

Walkway: Including walkways into the landscape designs adds architectural details to the design. Since they are completely man-made features of any landscape design, there is a certain room for creativity for the architect to bring the essence of the building’s architecture into the landscape.

Water-bodies: Water-bodies such as waterfalls, bridges, fountains, ponds can be included in the landscape designs. Such structures not only provide serenic beauty but are also beneficial for the sustenance of the ecosystem.

Passive sewage treatment plants

Passive wastewater treatment is a type of Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems that excludes the use of aerator pumps, includes no more than one effluent dosing pump with mechanical and moving parts, and uses a reactive media to assist in nitrogen removal. Passive sewage treatment plants do not require the ongoing addition of chemical reagents to conduct treatment. As a result these systems:

  • Have low running and maintenance costs
  • Are long-term treatment options
  • Require minimal supervision

They are ideally implemented for the treatment of water with low acid, pollutant and suspended particle loads.

Passive sewage treatment plants

Essential components if passive sewage treatment plant.

  1. Anaerobic treatment

Anaerobic treatment

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable matter in absence of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion or treatment produces primarily methane and carbon dioxide which can be converted into electrical or thermal energy. Anaerobic treatments for wastewater are generally implemented when treating wastewater with high concentration of biodegradable organic material. The anaerobic treatment of wastewater converts organic material into biogas (70% methane and 30% Carbon dioxide) via hydrolysis and acidification.

  1. Removal of Nitrates and Potash

The process of biologically removing nitrogen is known as denitrification. Denitrification requires that nitrogen be first converted to nitrate. The nitrified water is then exposed to an environment without free oxygen. Organisms in this anoxic system use the nitrate as an electron acceptor and release nitrogen in the form of nitrogen gas or nitrogen oxides. A readily biodegradable carbon source is also needed for efficient denitrification processes to occur. Nitrified process water flows into the anoxic reactor and is then combined with a supplemental carbon source, typically a dilute methanol solution.

Removal of Nitrates and Potash

The removal of phosphorous from wastewater involves the incorporation of phosphate into TSS and the subsequent removal from these solids. Phosphorous can be incorporated into either biological solids (e.g. microorganisms) or chemical precipitates. Chemical precipitation is used to remove the inorganic forms of phosphate by the addition of a coagulant and a mixing of wastewater and coagulant. The multivalent metal ions most commonly used are calcium, aluminium and iron.

  1. Aerobic Treatments

Aerobic treatment systems use forced air to treat wastewater and surface application or drip irrigation to disperse the treated wastewater. Aerobic treatment systems consist of: a trash tank, an aeration chamber, a disinfection chamber and surface or drip dispersal fields. These components are used to treat, disinfect, and disperse the treated wastewater.

Passive sewage treatment plants (1)

Converting your landscape into a Sewage or Wastewater Treatment Plant

  1. The  walkways can be designed in such a way so as to incorporate anaerobic treatment chambers.
  2. Since removing nitrates and potash from the wastewater is a very vital part of the wastewater treatment process, planters can be planted in the gravel bed. Here the water flows post anaerobic treatment. In case of space constraint, hydroponics could be used.
  3. To add aerobic treatment systems, water bodies such as fountains, waterfalls, ponds can be used. Here also hydroponics system can be implemented if the area is limited.

With sustainable water management gaining focus, converting landscapes into Wastewater Treatment Plants not only aides in the re-utilization of greywater but also boosts the ecosystem. The recycled and mineral enriched greywater leads to greener spaces and reduces the water costs for landscape maintenance at the same time.

Rainwater harvesting pits tackle waterlogging in a few housing societies.

Rainwater harvesting pits tackle waterlogging in a few housing societies

Rainwater is a natural source of good quality water and needs to be protected, conserved and used for the benefit of mankind. Besides ground rainwater harvesting pits, I think rooftop rainwater harvesting should also be installed to save potable water.


What are Wastewater Treatment Landscapes?

What are Wastewater Treatment Landscapes

Wastewater Treatment Landscapes or Sewage Treatment Plants Landscapes are the landscape structures which are build in such a way so as to efficiently use the wastewater from the treatment plants while obscuring the Sewage Treatment Plant from plain site and at the same time adding a green space to the complex.

Wastewater management is need of the hour, as with the ever-rising global population, we are already facing a huge water crisis. The most important step in fighting this crisis is the efficient management of water supply. The water once used in bathroom sinks, laundry or shower heads is considered as grey water and it contains organic material that is good for plants. This runoff water can be used for gardening purposes which not only reduces the total freshwater demand but also boosts the plant growth.

In the last decade there has been huge advancement when it comes to environmental engineering research on decentralized, biological remediation of wastewater. Wastewater Treatment Plants or Sewage Treatment Plants are specially designed for the  purpose of regulating hydrologic flows in surface drainage systems. They are spatially and strategically distributed in the landscape and can treat wastewater generated from institutional land uses, residential and corporate complexes.

Once we come to a conclusion that adding a wastewater treatment plant is vital for cost purposes as well as for effective water management, the next question that comes to mind is how we can beautify it. With careful planning, sewage treatment plant landscapes can be designed that are not only pleasing to the senses and but also kind to the environment. These following factors should always be kept in mind while creating a sewage treatment plant landscapes:


Just as before constructing a building, lots of thought is given in preparing its plan, similarly it is very important that a plan is created for the landscape so as to take into account the drainage between the Wastewater Treatment System, the placement of turfs, vegetation and its placement, landscape accessories etc


Choosing the right kind of vegetation is very important while creating a Sewage Treatment Plants as some plants require more water than the others and also on what kind of vegetation is suitable for the combination of nutrients present in the treated water.


The kind of soil to be added to the landscape structure also depends on the plantation and the nutrients already present in the treated water.

Maintenance is key factor for any system to be a success, similarly the Water Treatment plant landscape needs periodical maintenance, like checking the nutrients in the water from time to time, cleaning the drainage channels etc.