Innovations in Water Resource Management at Loyola Campus Chennai

S. Maria Packiam S. J.

Image: Sujith Devanagh via Unsplash

Among the important resources of this planet, water is unique; it is one of the most essential substances for living and nonlivng beings. It supports productive activities such as agriculture, generation of hydropower, industries, fishing, tourism, transport, etc.. Due to various environmental policies of states and central governments, all the educational institutions are bound to establish innovative methods. Lack of sufficient water to meet the human needs affects nearly 1.2 billion people worldwide; about 1.2 billion people lack access to potable water. Tamil Nadu heavily depends on monsoon rains. Many parts of Tamil Nadu fall under the area of physical water scarcity, since they are located in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats and receiving limited rain fall from south-west monsoon. Regarding ground water, up to 80% of our ground water potential is being utilized.

Water Resources Scenario at Loyola Campus

A comprehensive study on the water supply system in Loyola College has been conducted for a year to assess the existing groundwater resources, status of groundwater extraction structures, measures to conserve the water resources and strategies to meet the water demand in future. The present total daily water requirement in Loyola is 6,54,750 litres. The institution is under constant expansion. Hence the future demand during 2023 would be 7.21 lakhs litres, and during 2043 it is likely to touch around 7.55 lakh litres per day.

Innovations in Sewagewater Treatment Plant (STP) in Loyola Campus

The college was discharging about 4.5 million litres of sewagewater every month to the pollution load of Chennai city’s waterways. Hence water treatment plant established for making our mother earth safe and over-coming the water crisis at Loyola campus using the microbial treatment for Sewagewater treatment known as Loyola Sewagewater Treatment Plant.

The uniqueness of Loyola STP is that it proposes to subject the wastewater generated on the campus to a three-tiered treatment procedure which converts the entire wastewater into clear, bacteria-free, E. coli free, odour-free, drinking grade water using consortium of microorganisms.

Working Mechanism of Loyola STP:

Four large storage tanks of reinforced concrete and an overhead tank have been constructed. In order to activate the project, three large storage tanks of reinforced concrete and an overhead tank were constructed. The collection tank is where the sewagewater is collected after removing grit and other large materials. The filtered water is sent to reaction tank 1 where in microbial mixture is added and allowed to react. The treated water is sent to reaction tank 2, then to filter feed and treated reuse water tank. The recycled water is used for various purposes such as watering of plants and recharging ground water. The sludge generated at the bottom of bar screen tank can be periodically extracted using a sludge pump and prepared as cakes to be used as fertilizer in Loyola campus.

Rainwater Harvesting at Loyola

Precious groundwater reserves are being over-exploited without getting recharged. Loyola campus is a model for providing innovative methods for harvesting rainwater. Loyola College Society (LCS) has been taking several steps in collection of rainwater, storage of the collected water in closed and opened sump, recharging of the ground using old open wells, old borewells, and several newly made rechargeable wells.

Loyola aims at making the Hearts and minds of Students and Our Mother Earth more green and clean.

About the Author

Fr. S. Maria Packiam S. J. did his Ph.D. on Effect of new phytopesticidal formulations against Spodoptera litura (Asian Caterpillar) and Helicoverpa armigera (cotton bolloworm).” PONNEEM, a botanical pesticide was his Ph.D. research product. He is a visiting scientist to Loyola University of Chicago, where he did his post-doctoral research. He is elected as Fellow of the Royal Entomology Society (FRES) London due to his entomological research. Currently he is working as the Director and Scientist at the Entomology Research Institute (ERI), Loyola College, Chennai.