The plant was commissioned six months ago and the JICSR has become the only government-owned specialty heart hospital in the State to get the ETP. What’s more, the hospital has now called for tenders to lay pipelines which can supply the recycled water from the treatment plant, for flushing toilets. The ETP also consumes less power to pump water.
Apart from this, the hospital is also expecting a 40 per cent decrease in its water bill, which at present, comes to about Rs 14 lakh per month. “Not only can we save on water bill, but also use the extra water to water plants,” said JICSR Director Dr C N Manjunath.
Presently, the recycled water is being let out in a small well that will recharge the groundwater. The hospital also intends to connect biogas, a byproduct of the entire recycling process, to the hospital canteen in another three months at which point the quantity of biogas is believed to triple. Treatment of biomedical waste has been an issue of concern in the last few years, especially with Lok Adalat coming down strongly on hospitals for not setting up Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), last year.
About the ETP
Built at a cost of Rs one crore, the ETP has a capacity to treat three-and-a-half lakh litres of liquid waste per day and is located 500 metres away from the main building.
Almost every part of the seven-storied hospital is connected to the ETP, including four operation theatres which conduct about 12 open heart surgeries per day, four cardio cath labs, canteen, toilets and 550 beds with full occupancy. Besides this, around a 1,000 people visit the hospital every day.
“Liquid waste management should be given top priority. It is an investment initially, but the cost evens out and eventually reduces later. It is also an additional source of water, especially when the City faces water shortage,” he said.
Dr Manjunath said that previously the liquid waste was treated by putting chemicals manually. However, with the setting up of ETP where the liquid is sealed and the treatment is automated, the danger of workers coming in contact with the hazardous waste has reduced.
How it works
Dr D N Ravishankar, State Nodal Officer for Environment, Karnataka Health System Development Reform Project (KHSDRP) and the person who designed the ETP, explained that the entire water gets collected in a three-and-half metre deep sump from where it goes to a six-and-a-half metre deep collection well.
From here, the liquid is pumped up to the roof of the ETP. The water through gravitational pull first enters the anaerobic and then the aerobic reactors, at which stage biogas is emitted. Even the pollutants in the water are removed by 95 per cent.
The water is then let into two filtration units on the ground-level from where it is allowed to flow into an area where Cattal plants are put. Once here, the rest of the pollutant in water get absorbed by the plant and the water is let out in a small well that allows the sterile water to recharge the groundwater.