When Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), inaugurated an effluent treatment plant (ETP) this week in the prestigious Doon School here, its Head Master Peter McLaughlin could not hide his broad smile.
McLaughlin was happy because he sees water as the biggest problem in the coming years. Moreover, over 120 litres of water, which the school discharges, was literally going down the drain.
The school authorities now, through a dedicated network of pipes, will be able to conserve its lush campus where 2,500 trees grew. The Doon School boasts of having 150 species of trees which are more than that of the national capital region (NCR).
“We are ready to share information with all those institutes which want to follow our example of having installed ETP,” said McLaughlin.
Like McLaughlin. Nilekani too agrees that water may not be easily available in near future.
“For us, this project is very precious owing to the heightening environmental concerns. Even, a blade of grass is precious because students will be hauled up if they walk across the grassy fields or a patch of garden,” said School’s Public Affairs Director Piyush Malaviya.
The plant is designed for 120,000 litres of water which can perform efficiently from a sewerage load of 50 per cent to 125 per cent fluctuation that is essential in the school given the vacation period when sewage discharge is reduced to 50 per cent. This output of water which is carried through 5 km of pipeline is deliverable at 89 outlets located strategically for the playing fields and gardens.
“This recycling of water will not only assist to reduce the burden on the tubewells but also permit better irrigation of the existing playing fields and gardens but also facilitate the development of additional areas for planned horticulture,” said Malaviya. The ETP would also generate 10 kg of sludge which can be used as bio-manure.
The Doon School is the first educational institutes to start such green facility costing Rs 1.1 crore in the hill state.