Waste stabilization ponds treat liquid waste in Baran

The village of Baran in Patiala District of Punjab with a population of 3322 individuals has set up waste stabilization ponds (WSP) using the Thapar model to give new life to a pond and manage the sewage water that comes from all the 553 households.

Previously, the 2-3-acre pond situated in the heart of the village, and close to the historic Gurudwara Sahib was filthy, emitting such a foul smell that passersby found it an awful nuisance.  In the absence of desilting for an exceptionally long period, the capacity of the pond had decreased considerably, resulting in back-flow of the water into the village roads.  Moreover, it posed a potential health risk to the residents and a constant cause for complaint, leaving a poor impression on visitors.

Vexed with the situation, the village Sarpanch and his panchayat members approached the officials of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats, seeking a solution.  The Department recommended the WSP technology developed by the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (Patiala).

Baran village community which has in place a water supply scheme by which more than 80 per cent of the households have water while the remaining have their own sources of water such as submersible pumps unanimously agreed to go with the Thapar technology.   Given that the village pond had been an eyesore for everyone, just a few objections were raised which were successfully dealt with by the Department before implementation of the project.

To begin with, community mobilization activities were conducted in the village to make the community aware about the implementation process under which sewage water generated from all the houses is taken to the pond for treatment.  The benefits of the project were explained in detail. 

What is Thapar model technology:

The treatment plant consists of the following:

  • Screening chamber: Sewage water from all the households is collected in the screening chamber where floating materials are separated.
  • Digestion Well: Water revolves, and solid materials settle down in the base while the liquid floats
  • Skimming tank (Well 2): In this tank, liquids present in the water get separated
  • Stabilization tank (Well 3): This is the third well, known as the stabilization tank and almost clean water is collected in this
  • Oxidation Pond:  Water from the Stabilization tank is then transferred to the Oxidation pond. The main function of the oxidation pond is to treat wastewater through the interaction of sunlight, bacteria, and algae.  Algae grow using energy from the sun and carbon dioxide and inorganic compounds released by bacteria in water.
  • Storage or Maturation Pond:  The water is finally transferred to the Maturation pond

Moreover, the village pond has been renovated under MNREGA scheme and in convergence with the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY). The total cost of the project is Rs.39.86 lakhs and O&M cost will be 5 per cent of the estimated cost.  The treated water will be used for the irrigation purposes and GP will generate revenue from it.

Benefits to the community:

  • As the pond has been renovated under MNREGA scheme it has generated employment for the village community.
  • The renovation of the pond has beautified the village
  • The village has become neat and clean and is free from foul smell
  • It will contribute to improvement of health
  • After the renovation, the capacity of water in the pond has increased
  • Treated water is used for irrigation purposes, reducing the dependence on bore wells.
  • Visitors to the village have appreciated the efforts of the GP

Inputs:  Ms. Sevya Sharma, Community Development Specialist, DWSS

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