MU unveils sewage treatment project using earthworms
The University of Mumbai has inaugurated an earthworm-based sewage treatment project at its Vidyanagari complex in Kalina. The project aims to treat 1,200 liters of sewage per hour and boasts impressive removal efficiency for organic matter. The treated wastewater is recycled for university irrigation purposes. Plans are underway to replicate similar projects in other university complexes.
Mumbai: In an effort to create a sustainable and carbon-neutral green campus, the University of Mumbai (MU) has inaugurated an earthworm-based sewage treatment project at its Vidyanagari complex in Kalina.
This project, a part of the Mumbai Climate Action Plan, aims to treat 1,200 liters of sewage per hour. The earthworm-based treatment system boasts an impressive removal efficiency, with approximately 80-90% for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and 70-80% for Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). It effectively stabilises organic matter and converts it into a stable product.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) played a pivotal role in developing this plan and selected the Vidyanagari Complex as a pilot site for its implementation.
The MU said that the project, Absolute Water Private Limited, was the winning proposal presented as part of the 11-youth start-up innovative concepts six months back for a competition aimed at exploring nature-based solutions to complex challenges.
“With the support and initiative of the WRI, the Sewage Treatment Project has now become a reality at Vidyanagari complex. This project is developed by the professors and students from the Geography, Nanoscience, and Nanotechnology departments,” said the press statement.
Professor Aparna Phadke, Geography department, MU, explained, “Earthworms play a vital role as biofilters, enhancing microbial metabolism and population. They grind, aerate, crush, and degrade chemicals, acting as biological stimulators. Through microbial and Vermi processes, wastewater treatment with earthworms simultaneously takes place, resulting in highly nutritious effluent suitable for reuse.”
Under this wastewater project, a daily volume of 10,000 to 12,000 liters of treated wastewater is recycled for university irrigation purposes. “The future, stating that this project sets the stage for a greener and more sustainable university environment, with further initiatives on the horizon,” Professor Ravindra Kulkarni, vice-chancellor, said. Additionally, plans are underway to replicate similar projects in other university complexes.