WOW LEADERS SPEAK
(Here are thought-provoking excerpts from the meeting of TechTalk #09 of February 04, 2022)
An energy innovation
We have Doug and Mark from 374 water, a relatively new initiative of Duke University, known for its energy innovation. They claim they are disruptive technologies that have the potential to shift global waste water management from treatment to resource recovery. You’ll hear about high temperatures applied to sludge waste and how it allows them to secure water and potentially remarket the materials and the elements within the waste stream that they are treating.
- Mary Conley Eggert, GlobalWaterWorks, Chicago
A social impact cleantech company which focuses on Resource Recovery
We do not just sell wastewater equipment or waste treatment equipment. We are a social impact cleantech company. We are a virtual company but based in North Carolina in the USA. We are taking the waste that the world gives, moving it through our technology and coming back to having clean water. Our vision is a world without waste. What we really mean by that is we are contributing to an economy where we can take the waste the society generates and break them down into the fundamental components of water, carbon dioxide and minerals which is a potential recovery and reuse potential. We capture energy as heat and depending on the size of our units it could be converted into electricity which could put energy back into reuse. This is behind what we call Resource Recovery. Our mission is to preserve a clean and healthy environment that sustains life and that recognises sustainability.
- Doug Hatler, 374Water
A Water Scientist responds...
Comments Muni Raval, Water Scientist, Surat: All this market talk revolves around millions of dollars of money for purchase of such equipment, and of ‘advance technology’ while the real concerns are lost sight of. STP Sludge and waste that leaves the human body are two different worlds altogether. Pathogens that water treatments talk about are pathogens that are lodged in our colon. This is never part of these discussions, why?
Sure, STP is not a "one size fits all" but they talk of volume and KLD. That jettisons science.
Above all, why would someone spend 5.5 million dollars or nearly 17 crore for a system that offers capacity of a mere 70,000 litres a day?
Waste Waters in the US and India
Marc Deshusses, 374 Water: Here are some of my thoughts, based on your feedback. I agree that there are large differences between the wastewaters in India and the USA, and even within a country, there are large differences depending on context, collection network, presence of industries and more. As to the faeces production per person, yes it is documented that those individuals eating a diet with greater fiber produce more faeces. A few years ago, we spent some time on this question (even publishing recipes for faecal simulants for research). There is also a huge variability of faeces production between individuals (and even between peer reviewed papers). This is what we published :
We have settled on an average amount of 100 g of COD per person per day, which seemed a good average, but recognize that depending on the origin of the faecal sludge, there can be considerable reduction of the COD per person (but not so much per mass or per VSS) as the sludge ages. There is a slight decrease in calorific value of the sludge with ageing too.
When there is a lot of dilution, e.g., from flushing, or anal washing as is generally the case in India, there is significant dilution of the COD and of the suspended solids. The US uses on average about 300-400 L water per day, while Europeans use far less water (more like 150 L/p d). As a result of dilution, sewage rarely has more than 1 g COD /L or more than 1 g TSS/L. Roughly, this amounts to about 150 kg (dry) per person per year reaching our sewage treatment plants, which is then reduced to about 23 kg (dry) per person per year. Again these are US numbers, and can only be applied to the Indian context if the treatment processes are about the same.
Putting all of this together, as was discussed during the Q&A, the question of whether our Nix6 unit can serve 6000 people or more is probably the wrong question. What is given is that the Nix6 can treat about 6 m3 of slurry per day, which would optimally be at about 15% dry solids content (the design parameter is actually the calorific content of the waste) and the Nix30 can treat about 30 m3 of slurry per day.
“Anaerobic digestion of undiluted simulant human excreta for sanitation and energy recovery in less-developed countries”
WOW MEMBERS SPEAK
These are extracts of conversations of WOW members in the Core Executive Group. Add your comments, views
Neel Mathews 0 Water Bill
Is that the sixth month you’ve got a Zero bill with only rainwater harvest as your source?
- Hari Haran
- Neel Mathews
Water is being wasted by the BBMP water plant…
- Murthy Bhoomi
Inform Local corporator, BWSSB and local corporation office
- V K Saxena
This is RO reject water
- Vijayraj Shishodiya
At least they could put in to a well to percolate down than to get mixed with sewage
- Neel Mathews
TDS is very very high
- Vijayraj Shishodiya
Can't they use the water for flushing toilets instead of just releasing it. If they use composite pipes, they will not face this problem.
- V K Saxena
It's rejected water...
But TDS very low
The IS Standard Limit is 500 is Acceptable and 2000 is Permissible limit....
My point is rejected: water is first not contaminated and it's gone through a Sand filter and Carbon Filter…
Every Ward having at least 5 RO Plants and each rejecting 15,000 ltrs every day..
- Murthy Bhoomi
If KSPCB considers sewage by anyone as pollution, then RO discard by BWSSB is also a pollution.
And yes, there are govt organisations like BARC and DRDO who have developed zero discard RO technologies and even in one of our Tech Talk David Pong demonstrated the technique, I don't understand why BWSSB and KSPCB are mute spectators.
When I can save 50 litres of water going into the drain / day using these technologies, why can't BWSSB and KSPCB?
- Ganesh Shanbhag
P E O P L E L O V E T O B U Y B U T D O N O T W A N T T O B E S O L D
Indrani Pal, of Columbia University and an active member of WOW Action Forum was conferred in January the Moon Shot award by California’s State Water Resources Control Board and the West Big Data Innovation Hub.
Indrani says, “The world just needs innovation in diagnosing cultures, human minds, as they evolve with economic development, exposure in the media, mind influencing factors, and alignment of value propositions.
“People love to buy but do not want to be sold. Environmental goals fall in place as co-benefits and/or regulations are understood. That’s the way to accelerate solutions.
T R A D I T I O N A L W A T E R H A R V E S T I N G
"Traditional water harvesters recount their success stories"
Much has been written about India's extensive and historic experience with rainwater harvesting. However, no significant attempt has been made to put these old inventions to use. There is no village in India that cannot fulfil its drinking water demands if it implements the kundi technology created by the Thar desert people of Rajasthan. The technology is pretty straightforward. Take a plot of land and artificially slope it such that all water that falls in this catchment area flows into a well in the centre or on one side of the land. The owner can seal the well and get water from it whenever it is needed.
It has enormous potential. Even if there is just 100 mm of rain per year, as is predicted in some of the driest parts of Rajasthan and Ladakh, a one hectare (ha) catchment will yield one million litres of water each year. An individual does not require more than 2.5 litres of water per day for drinking and cooking. With just one hectare of land, 1,100 people can satisfy their vital water demands even in the worst desert conditions.
W A T E R C O N S E R V A T I O N I N B A N G A L O R E N E E D S A T T E N T I O N
“The book produced by Communication for Development and Learning details traditional practices for water conservation and management in Karnataka”
Bengaluru, with its year-round supply of drinking water from the Cauvery River, may be the envy of many, notably Chennai residents, who endure a severe drinking water deficit for the most of the year. But, in Bengaluru, little is being done to preserve water, much alone the tremendous waste in the water supply lines maintained and administered by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).
While residents are penalised for not having a rainwater harvesting facility on their property, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike flagrantly breaches by concreting all roads and pavements, and just a few Government buildings have rainwater gathering systems in place.
The WOW Action Forum hosts Commendation Awards every quarter and bestows the on all Big Water-Savers who save and so ‘donate’ water to the city by consuming less fresh water in the interest of making water-positive cities.
Alt. Tech Foundation is a not-for-profit, for-industry Foundation for
(i) producing sustainability managers and leaders,
(ii) providing green management skill sets,
(iii) hosting city-wide campaigns for citizen collective action to save water & energy,
(iv) purposing research for city infrastructure.
WOW Action Forum is a globally pioneering effort for bringing collective private action to save very large quantities of water at apartments, at Industry, at tech parks, or hotels and hospitals or malls and other such buildings. The 2021 mission is set to save 1000 Cr lites with community-led action. This alone will bring a saving of 236 Cr in electricity bills for the city, and a reduction in carbon emission of nearly 300,000 tonnes equivalent.