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A Low Cost STP that Treats Water Without Chemicals or Electricity is Helping Communities Save Lakhs

This new STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) method treats water without chemicals or electricity. There is no foul smell and the method is low cost.  Check out ecoSTP and why your apartment building should get one too!

“We had a good STP, running 24×7 on a 9HP motor for the last few years. But this summer, we are in trouble. Due to power cuts, our STP is running on diesel most of the time. I have no choice, the STP stinks if I don’t keep the motor on, and residents complain. I am tired of burning diesel.”

This is the typical complaint of any STP manager of a residential apartment or layout.

An ex-TERI scientist, Pravinjith, has came up with an interesting solution to these problems. He has designed an STP which runs without the use of power and chemicals and treats water naturally.

Mr.Pravinjith K P, the man behind the idea.
Mr.Pravinjith K P, the man behind the idea.

Most STPs in use in India today work with aerobic bacteria. This requires the continuous use of air and hence regular power is required to operate the STP. An ecoSTP, on the other hand, works with anaerobic bacteria, which do not require any oxygen or power to function. Hence, it cleans water in a natural and chemical-free manner.

“The problem is that over 99 percent people have been using the aerobic method. They are not open to trying new things. Those STPs require 6 to 7 HP motors just to blow air in them. Our method is modeled on a cow’s stomach, using different chambers to treat the waste,” says Tharun Kumar B, Executive Director, Paradigm Environmental Strategies.

The unique ecoSTP technology does not use chemicals or energy to treat the water. Instead, it mimics the processes of the natural world — using a combination of microorganisms, plants and gravel to clean sewage water and return clean water back to mother earth, completing the ‘cradle to cradle’ sustainable lifecycle.

stpSince no air is required in the ecoSTP method, there is no foul smell. Low operational and maintenance costs, and no electricity requirement, are some of the other amazing factors that make this STP more efficient and eco-friendly.

The team has already successfully used the STP in Aishwarya Amaze Apartments, Bengaluru. The response from the residents was overwhelmingly positive.

Aishvarya Amaze Apartments are successfully using the STP.
Aishvarya Amaze Apartments are successfully using the STP.

“We have been using the DTS ecoSTP by Ecoparadigm for the last six years and we are very happy. The treated water is run through a plant bed consisting of Canna plants and Colocassia and the final water is used for toilet flushing. The thing we like most is the minimum maintenance involved. We also get a sense of satisfaction from doing our best for society by using a natural process to treat our waste,” says Hari Upadyaya, representing their residents association.

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The one-time cost of installing the STP is Rs. 14,00,000 for a 100 apartment community while running cost is just Rs. 25 per family per month.  All the water is treated immediately and can be used for various purposes like flushing and gardening.

The area required to construct an ecoSTP is double that of a regular STP. However, since it is built underground, further construction can be done above it.

STP is constructed under the ground. hence, it does not even spoil the look of the building.
STP is constructed under the ground. Hence, it does not affect the look of the building.

“While the sludge needs to be cleared on a weekly basis for the conventional STPs, one needs to clear the same for the ecoSTP that runs on a decentralised treatment system only once in two years,” says Kumar.

Another success story for the ecoSTP can be seen at St. Martha’s Hospital, Bengaluru. The hospital had a regular STP earlier and the management would spend lakhs of rupees per year on its maintenance, which eventually became a burden for them. As it is a charitable hospital, they needed to cut down on costs and decided to go for a low cost and effective STP which could treat 300 KLD (1 kld = 1,000 litres) per day.

The hospital decided to go for ecoSTP as it required only Rs. 1 lakh annually for wages, labour and maintenance, as compared to a regular STP which would cost Rs. 20 lakh for a 200 KLD plant.

The STP is maintenance free and just requires a one time cost followed by a minimal monthly running cost.
The STP is maintenance free and just requires a one time cost followed by a minimal monthly running cost.

Today, the hospital’s entire garden gets watered by water treated by the ecoSTP. The hospital has managed to save Rs. 2.5 lakhs per month on water alone.

In the future, Paradigm Environmental Strategies wants to reach out to more apartment complexes and change the mindset of people regarding STPs.

The company wants to install ecoSTPs in at least 5 percent of the apartments in Bengaluru over the next few months.

If apartments install the STP, they can save a lot of money on water bills.
If apartments install the STP, they can save a lot of money on water bills.

“Even if 5 percent communities agree to do so, there will be a huge impact in power savings and maintenance cost. We are growing gradually and once people see the impact, they will believe in it too. The fact is that today nearly 40% of the monthly maintenance bill of residents is due to power hogging STPs and we believe that either today or tomorrow the buyers will demand the breakup from their builders which will create a push to look at alternative ideas to treat waste water,” says Kumar.

To know more about ecoSTP and Paradigm Environmental Strategies, contact Tharun Kumar at check out their website.

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