The 72 km long sewerage system with five pumping stations at Hardwar was built in the year 1938. When Ganga Action Plan was started in 1986, the pumping plants and accessories were not functioning properly, the sewer lines were almost choked and, as a consequence, about 18 million litres per day (mld) effluent was polluting the river Ganga due to over flowing of sewage through 10 drains.
There was no sewage treatment plant and untreated sewage was utilised for agricultural purpose infrequently in an area of 40 hectares owned by the Hardwar Municipality.
Apart from the renovation of Intermediate Pumping Stations (IPSs) and sewer cleaning, the works constructed under Ganga Action Plan Phase-I were nallah tapping works, soil conservation works at Mansa Devi hills, new Main Pumping Station (MPS) at Jagjeetpur and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Kankhal.
The STP was commissioned in the year 1993 on Activated Sludge Process (ASP) with a capacity of 18 mld. An additional 80 hectares of agricultural land was developed for sewage farming by laying about 4 kms of sewage farming channels.
In the STP, the domestic sewage with BOD and SS characteristics of about 180 mg per litre and 255 mg per litre respectively is treated and these parameters are brought down to less than 20 mg per litre, respectively, which is better than the norms laid down for Ganga Action Plan.
The commissioning of this STP has resulted in reduction of the river BOD at Hardwar from 3.9 to 1.1 mg/litre. The left-over works and additional sewage pollution load due to population growth from the year 1991 to 1998 is being covered under Ganga Action Plan Phase-II.
Resource recovery from the sewage has been a prominent facet of GAP works at Hardwar. Approximately, 120 hectares of land is being irrigated with treated sewage having dissolved Nitrogen and Phosphorous.
The treated effluent is being sold at the rate of Rs 800 /hectare/year giving a revenue of Rs 0.96 lakh/year. About 2500 cum. of nutrient rich digested sludge cakes, which is an excellent bio-fertiliser and soil conditioner, are sold to the farmers at the rate of Rs 80/cum to yield a revenue of Rs 2 lakh per year.
Eucalyptus trees have been planted in the campus, giving a revenue of Rs 5 lakhs per year by way of sales from fuel wood trees. Sales to safety-match box factories, mature poplar trees will fetch Rs 40 lakhs in the year 2003.
Also, available free land around the STP unit is being utilised by local farmers to grow vegetables by paying an annual lease of Rs 0.18 lakh per year.
In the STP, the domestic sewage with BOD and SS characteristics of about 180 mg per litre and 255 mg per litre, respectively. is treated and these parameters are brought down to less than 20 mg per litre, respectively, which is better than the norms laid down for Ganga Action Plan.
Eucalyptus trees have been planted in the campus giving a revenue of Rs 5 lakhs per year by way of sales from fuel wood trees. Mature Poplar trees with fetch Rs. 40 lakhs in the year 2003, through sales to match box factories.
Thus, the overall revenue from STP Kankhal s resource recovery programme is Rs 8.14 lakh per annum apart from the block sale of poplar trees amounting to Rs 40 lakh in the year 2003, (while the operation and maintenance cost of STP is Rs 20 lakh per annum). Biogas Power generation is also being stabilised.
The full potential of the Sewage Treatment Plant is being exploited with expert inputs to augment its capacity to 26 mld under the Ganga Action Plan Phase-II. While maximising revenue recovery, the emphasis is on low cost, less power-consuming STP technologies.
(The excellent performance of the STP complex has been appreciated by the Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (Science and Technology) on Ganga Action Plan during their inspection in December, 1998 and the Committee Chairman Captain Jai Narain Prasad Nishad, MP, and former Union Minister of Environment & Forests, have recorded the Committee s appreciation in the visitor s book at STP premises.)