Cleaning city’s drains in a natural way

Cleaning city’s drains in a natural way

Nagpur: In a first-of-its-kind natural way of drain cleaning treatment, using in-situ process, the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) will be demonstrating a unique process of the cleaningtreatment with the help of a combination of technologies which will give impetus to all kinds of drain treatment, including big and small nullahs. The institute will put this technology on display, by treating over 200 meters of drain, on its diamond jubilee foundation day celebrations at its headquarters here on Sunday.
With this kind of technology, nullahs will get a cleaner look providing hygienic surroundings. “They will no longer be breeding spots for mosquitoes and other insects. Moreover, pathways and cycling tracks can be developed along side nullahs,” Neeri director Rakesh Kumar said.

The institute has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Punjab government for providing the technical support of same process in reviving the 2.2-kilometre-long Tung Dhab drain in Amritsar. The drain has been highly polluted for the last several years.

As reported by TOI earlier, Neeri is also providing technical support for cleaning Vada and Commercial canals in Alappuzha, Kerala. The institute also plans to revive drains of Mumbai and some other cities.

“While there is a scepticism about in-situ treatments, we are trying to demonstrate its effectiveness. Technologies may vary depending on the configuration of nullahs. Big urban nullahs can be diverted and exposed to treatments,” Kumar said.

Called it the Reneu (Restoration of Nullah with Ecological Units) integrated technology, it involves five major steps for cleaning. “We are all natural components — phyto-traps, solar diffused aeration, light-weighted building material and wetland plants to clean the nullah. No chemicals are required in this treatment, making it a very cost-effective,” said Centre for Strategic Urban Management principal scientist Ritesh Vijay, who is also a director of technical cell.

Senior principal scientist and head of director’s research cell Atya Kapley is handling the bio-mats technology (see box). Neeri has appointed Alaknanda Technologies Pvt Ltd for implementation of these integrated treated units.

Stating that the need of the hour is to revive the natural drains, said research fellow Saisaurabh Asoria, “The drains not only pose threat to human health but also pollute major water bodies after meeting them.”

Apart from this, Neeri will be inaugurating a technology park in its headquarters on Sunday. “Till now, all our technologies were restricted to laboratories but now we are scaling it up. It is not easy for industries to adopt ideas from laboratories. Hence, all the CSIR technologies will be demonstrated in the park for getting first-hand experience,” Kumar said.

The park will be inaugurated by CSIR director general and Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) secretary Girish Sahni. Sahni will also be interacting with young scientists on the occasion.


Step 1: Screening-cum-silt-trap

Coarse screens used to trap bigger floating solid waste while finer screens used to trap the waste (leaf litter) which managed to pass through the coarse screen

Step 2: Sedimentation

The waste water is allowed to settle down by providing sufficient space. In natural sedimentation, organic matter settles down

Step 3: Biomats and Phyto-trap

Biological mats inoculated with bacteria will be used to treat sewage. Phyto-trap is a unit which treats water by physical filtering and decomposition of organic water. It consists of porus light-weighted building material on which the bacterial growth gets attached. They also trap the suspended organic matter and thus filter sewage water