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This small village in Patiala uses unique method to treat wastewater (other cities can take a cue)

Submitted by scc india staff on April 15, 2021

The impact of climate change, pollution and a lack of infrastructure means villages in India often face water shortage for agricultural and domestic purposes. To combat water shortage, a new wastewater treatment method has been devised by one of leading environmentalists, Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, to treat, recycle and reuse wastewater at one of the wastewater treatment plants in Patiala district. The plant in Dhingi village of Patiala aims to achieve the following objective using the ‘Seechewal Model’ of wastewater management: recycling and reusing the treated wastewater for irrigation, and preventing further contamination of groundwater.

The model—a pipe-and-pump formula—is used to remove heavy solid particles, oil and other material from water. This model was first used in Seechewal, Punjab. The project aims to implement a combination of processes through four-well systems of wastewater treatment for reuse apart from human consumption.

The water wells need to be cleaned regularly; otherwise, they produce extremely poor effluents with high suspended solids, which can be detrimental to the constructed wetland and cause clogging of beds. To ensure continuous and effective operation, the accumulated material must be emptied periodically.

The project is likely to benefit 350 households and 2,755 people in total, and has engaged, empowered and evolved community sustained processes for water management and strengthened community collectives.