At a time when the Capital is reeling under a water crisis and 40% of the water supplied by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is lost in leakages, the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is showing the way ahead by conserving every drop of the natural resource.
The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the private airport operator, has augmented its sewage treatment plant, which has the capacity to treat 15 million litres of water every day (MLD), to reuse waste water.
The treatment plant uses a three-layer system, including biological methods, to make waste water almost as clean as potable water. The reused water, however, is being used in toilets and to water plants.The airport needs water for drinking, firefighting, flushing, horticulture and air-conditioning purposes and it depends on both the supply from DJB and ground water. With the city facing a water crunch, the airport is now also relying more on rainwater harvesting and reusing waste water.
At a recent rainwater harvesting conference organised by the Delhi government, IGIA was praised as one of the model institutions for water conservation.
"IGIA manages its water demand by reusing the treated waste water from state-of-the- art sewage treatment plant, which has been designed for zero discharge," said a DIAL spokesperson, adding, "The plant operates 24x7 to treat the waste water generated from IGIA, including pre-treated water from concessioners. It uses biological treatment method such as anaerobic treatment and aerobic treatment. The treated water is processed with multiple filtration and an aeration tank before it is used for flushing and watering plants."
The airport also has more than 300 rain water harvesting wells to harvest rain water. Rain water harvesting structures were installed in the storm water drains and all the roof top water from the buildings are collected and possessed through harvesting well.
DIAL saves about 25 MLD water by using rainwater harvesting and reusing waste water.
"Our aim at IGIA is to make the building greener and accommodate growth in a manner illustrating the principles of sustainable development," said DIAL CEO, I Prabhakara Rao.