Reuse of treated sewage in Delhi city: Microbial evaluation of STPs and reuse options
Microbiological quality of the treated wastewater is an important parameter for its reuse. The data on the Fecal Coliform (FC) and Fecal Streptococcus (FS) at different stages of treatment in the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in Delhi watershed is not available, therefore in the present study microbial proﬁling of STPs was carried out to assess the efﬂuent quality for present and future reuse options. This study further evaluates the water quality proﬁles at different stages of treatment for l6 STPs in Delhi city. These STPs are based on conventional Activated Sludge Process (ASP), extended aeration, physical, chemical and biological treatment (BIOFORE), Trickling Filter and Oxidation Pond. The primary efﬂuent quality produced from most of the STPs was suitable for Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT). Extended Hydraulic Retention Time (HRT) as a result of low inﬂow to the STPs was responsible for high turbidity, COD and BOD5 removal. Conventional ASP based STPs achieved 1.66 log FC and 1.06 log FS removal. STPs with extended aeration treatment process produced better quality efﬂuent with maximum 4 log order reduction in FC and FS levels. “Kondli” and “Nilothi” STPs employing ASP, produced better quality secondary efﬂuent as compared to other STPs based on similar treatment process. Oxidation Pond based STPs showed better FC and FS removals, whereas good physiochemical quality was achieved during the ﬁrst half of the treatment. Based upon physical, chemical and microbiological removal efﬁciencies, actual integrated efﬁciency (IEa) of each STP was determined to evaluate its suitability for reuse for irrigation purposes. Except “Mehrauli” and “Oxidation Pond”, efﬂuents from all other STPs require tertiary treatment for further reuse. Possible reuse options, depending upon the geographical location, proximity of facilities of potential users based on the beneﬁcial uses, and sub-soil types, etc. for the Delhi city have been investigated, which include artiﬁcial groundwater recharge, aquaculture, horticulture and industrial uses such as ﬂoor washing, boiler feed, and cooling towers, etc.
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