Recycling is so yesterday. With the drinking water crisis becoming more acute, the world is looking at recovering used water. An invention by a Bengaluru-based scientist has seen his campus recover 10,000 litres of water from sewage every day and use it for drinking too.
Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar’s invention – the Boom Tube Resonator – recovers water fit for drinking and gives high-value fertilizer as a byproduct. It uses no chemicals or microorganisms.
Kumar’s team has received queries from Doha and Oman to recover 3 lakh litres per day, and from Malaysia to salvage 10 lakh litres. “Singapore is interested in a large-scale project,” he said.
Recovering water from sewage wasn’t a possibility until recently. Facing one of the worst drinking water crises, India may need to consider this for a better future. The country’s groundwater table is depleting and surface water undrinkable.
India consumes 693 billion cubic metres of water a year and it’s pegged to increase to 942 billion cubic metres by 2025 and 1,422 billion cubic metres by 2050. Water is rarely considered for reuse; segregation of sewage into clean water is uncommon.
India discharges 38,400 million cubic metres of sewage annually, enough for the country if recovered.
“We have excess water today,” Kumar said as he sipped the recovered water. “It meets the drinking water standard (ISI 505),” he added.
Water turns sewage when mixed with excreta, urine, soaps or detergents. Some of these dissolve, the rest remain suspended. Very fine particles in sewage remain in motion due to electrostatic charge (often negative), which causes them to repel each other. Once their charge is neutralized, the particles collide and combine together. High-intensity wave : The Boom Tube Resonator applies this principle. It uses high-intensity shortwave to neutralize the fine particles present in sewage.
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