While analysis any technology, it becomes very important for us to analysis the cost-benefit analysis of the overall strategy. Especially in an eco-habitat such as Antharam, where one system has an impact on a lot of other variables, it becomes even more crucial.
The primary role that an STP must serve is to treat the water to an extent that renders the treated water suitable for plantations. At the same time, the amount of energy consumed to treat that water is essential to be evaluated.
There are various types of STPs that are available in the market. For example, at Organo Naandi, Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) STP was installed. Although, SBR technology is prevalent, proven and widely available in the market, it consumes a lot of energy since it is an aerobic process where fresh air must be supplied to the sewage water continuously for the bacteria to break the sewage down. This is done with the use of blowers which operate for 6 to 10 hours. Consequently, a lot of energy is consumed to run these blowers.
A new type of technology called as an Eco-STP is proposed for Antharam where there is hardly any energy consumption as the system is gravity based. It is a system that proposesto mimic the digestive tract of a cow and it is a completely anaerobic process (no oxygen orfresh air feed is required).
The white paper on Eco-STP describes the work as follows:
“Our natural digester model based on the biology of a cow’s stomach is used to break downorganic fecal content into treated water. We add anaerobic bacteria catalyst seed (one timeaddition) from a cow dung substrate and the end result is that sewage you put in is convertedto water, some gas, and very little sludge (digester). We also added two more natural layersas Stage 2 and 3 to help in disinfection (E. coli) of the treated water. In other words, the three stages work cohesively as a living system.
This is classic biomimicry―mimicking the self-healing processes of nature ― ANDthe use of an organism to perform a function, in this case the anaerobic bacteria.”
To further treat the water, there is a tertiary treatment done using reeds/plant beds.
The advantage with this system is there is close to zero energy consumption except for pumping treated water from one place to another. And since the whole system is anaerobic, it can be installed underground and covered on the top which reduces any chance of smells emanating from the STP.
For more details on the working of Eco-STP, please see here: