Soon, eco-friendly toilets at LonavlaNews — By The Desk on June 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Times of India: If things go as planned by the forest department, the Lion’s Point, a scenic tourist spot between Bhushi Dam and Aamby Valley in Lonavla, will soon have a 10-seater movable toilet, set up on a trailer. These toilets will use a combination of bio-digester and phytorid technologies, which are green technologies, and convert organic waste into nutrient-rich treated water. The water thus treated will be safe enough to be let out, without harming the vegetation in the surrounding areas.
Also on cards are movable toilets near the Karla caves and the Ekveera goddess
temple, if the pilot project at Lion’s Point works out well, said an official from the forest department. Deputy conservator of forest Rajendra Kadam said, “We are planning to install such mobile units in places with heavy tourist flow. Lion’s Point is a spot which sees heavy visitor flow during the rainy season, hence the initiative.”
Ordinary toilets with septic tanks lead to water and groundwater pollution, hence movable toilets with treatment plants
. Moreover, forest norms prohibit construction activities in forest areas due to which the forest department has opted for movable toilets. “Visitors go to Lion’s Point during the day and stay there till evening. They, therefore, need to be given toilet facilities, and this should not harm nature. The movable toilets will use a technology involving an anaerobic fermentation tank made of fibreglass reinforced plastic. This tank is airtight and holds the waste from toilets. Microbial action then disintegrates waste into small particles and eventually converts it into nutrient-rich water,” said Kadam.
Toilets with the bio-digester technology will also come up in Karla caves and the Ekveera Devi temple in Lonavla. “There are some toilets in those caves, which are conventional ones with septic tanks. If the pilot in Lion’s Point is successful, we will replace the septic tanks in these toilets with biodigesters as well as install newer green toilets,” Kadam said.
Shashikant N Manapure, director, Go Green Solutions, a green consulting company that has undertaken the work for the forest department, said, “One movable toilet unit at the Lion’s Point will have five toilets for men and five for women. They will use a combination of bio-digester and phytorid technologies, called the New Generation Unaerobic Digestion (NGAD)
technology, to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich liquid fertiliser or water that is treated up to 95%. Sludge will first be treated in the bio-digester tank and further treated in the phytorid bed attached to it with a pipe.”
The phytorid bed has wetland plants and other filtering media. The plants will take up the oxygen from the air and leave it in the water from the bio-digester. They will also lift heavy metals and carbon-dioxide from this water, thus further treating it. This will also help keep foul smell, mosquitoes and bugs away. “Any organisation that uses such treated water for gardening, horticultural or even recharging of groundwater, will be given green points and tax benefits by the civic body,” he said.
Go Green Solutions The consultancy company is a techno partner of Delhi-based Defence Research Development Organisation(DRDO), which has developed the Bio-digester Technology, a patented technology. The Phytorid technology has been developed by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur and patented internationally. It is based on use of plants for treatment of sewage. It has several advantages as it does not require electricity, uses no chemicals, works on gravity flow, and has no recurring cost. The applications are for municipal sewage, cleaning of nullah water before discharge to water bodies, treating dairy waste, industrial waste and the like.