NOWAH (No Waste at Household) Technology – A novel, sustainable, smart and complete treatment technology for both faecal sludge and organic waste management

Students of Indian Institute of Technology Madras , Anu Rachel Thomas, Kaviyarasan R, Arya V, Praveen Rosario A won the award for research work of NOWAH (No Waste at Household) Technology – A novel, sustainable, smart and complete treatment technology for both faecal sludge and organic waste management. They carried their project work under guidance of  Prof. Ligy Philip.

Providing environmentally safe sanitation to the world’s second most populated nation is a challenging task. In India, the total sanitation coverage is 50% and in that only 12% have a piped sewerage connection. Majority of the households depends mainly on on-site wastewater treatment systems like septic tanks as their sole sanitation. Untreated septage disposal creates environmental degradation which mainly includes potential greenhouse gas emissions, percolation of emerging contaminants triggering water body contamination and also causes serious health threats as it contains millions of pathogens. In this context, our team has developed “NOWAH (No Waste at Household)” Technology – A novel, sustainable, smart and complete treatment technology for both faecal sludge and organic waste management. In this treatment system, fecal sludge containing both liquid and solid parts is separated initially at the separating chamber. Further the liquid effluent is biologically treated in an attached bioreactor (ABR) and the treated water can then be recycled for gardening. The dewatered solids will be conveyed to a composting chamber, where it will be cocomposted with organic waste from household. The final compost can then be used as a plant fertilizer. All these units are linked to one another and are underground concrete structures. The proper functioning of this system can be easily made using a cycle with gear mechanism fixed above ground. Thus, the proposed “NOWAH” technology aims at treating the faecal matter at the source where it is generated together with resource recovery in a sustainable and hygienic way. It is a closed loop system with zero power requirement. NOWAH technology can be easily adopted in any household and can even be scaled up for small communities.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology, awarded the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation to Anu Rachel Thomas, Kaviyarasan R, Arya V, Praveen Rosario A , Indian Institute of Technology Madras at the GYTI 2018 Awards function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan on March 19, 2018.

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