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About INDCARE Bio-Digester Toilet at Bakkarwala CTC G- Block

INDCARE Trust is an organization committed towards community development since 1989, addressing issues of community health, hygiene, environment and sanitation through its directed programs. On a larger scale, one of the organization’s focuses is to contribute towards the millennium development goal of environmental sustainability. To achieve this goal, the trust is working on Public Private Partnership model by joining hands with various institutions such as the Government, local bodies, corporates and communities in an attempt to minimize and mitigate the sources of health hazards and environmental pollution. It has joined hands with various national and international institutions like Apollo Tyres Foundation, Samhita Social Venture, Vodafone, RCL Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd and others for ecological management of solid waste. INDCARE is doing this by adopting the 4Rs system i.e. Refuse, Reduce, Recycle and Reuse as well as working on garbage management for a healthy society and pollution-free clean environment.

Continuing in our efforts, the Trust along with Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is operating the Community Toilet Complex (CTC) program in South, West and North Zone of Delhi to provide a solution to sanitary problems for the urban and peri-urban poor and slum dwellers.

The program is being implemented at a large scale in Delhi and also serves the purpose of sanitation for slums & pavement dwellers, rickshaw pullers and the floating migrant population. Community toilets not only provide sanitation facility but at the same time have a demonstrative effect as well.

While an attempt in the right direction, unfortunately many toilet complexes are facing technical difficulties in terms of waste disposal due to construction deficiencies. At many CTCs, the sewage disposal facilities are not properly designed; septic tanks are often very small in size as compared to the no. of users or are constructed as soak pits instead of full scale tanks. For instance, at a complex, the no. of users is approximately 350 to 400 per day. Due to the small size of the tank, it quickly exceeds its capacity resulting in an overflow of sewage which could cause environment and sanitation concerns.

Based on situational analysis and indentifying these issues, INDCARE trust took an initiative to use the Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE) technology and install a Bio-digester toilet for eco-friendly disposal of human waste.

Technological aspect of Bio-digester:

We constructed a tank of capacity of 25 cubic meter containing 5 anaerobic chambers. Surface of this tank is sealed to make it a closed waterproof system. The side walls of the tank are covered with porous mats that serve as the home and incubation chamber for anaerobic bacteria. Each such chamber is connected with another through riser pipe. Height of each riser pipe depends on the position of the chamber. This chamber is then inoculated with 8000 liters inoculum of anaerobic bacteria, usually filling 30 percent of tank capacity. The water exiting the recycling process of the bio-digester is very clean and contamination free and is safely being used for the irrigation of grass at the roof of the tank.

Comparative analysis between a Biodigester and a Septic Tank

The Biodigesters are made of hard concrete, which prevents leaks that often occur from the tanks. Further, biodigesters have 3 or more chambers i.e stages of digestion, as opposed to septic tanks, which usually have only one or two chambers and therefore don’t clean the water as thoroughly.

Benefits of using a Biodigester

  • It digests organic solids in an ecological way;
  • It prevents human waste and untreated water from contaminating groundwater;
  • It offers an alternative to dumping sewage into rivers, lakes and fields where there are no city sewage systems;
  • The effluent of water can be used as fertilizer for soil, to water plants, or for fish ponds;
  • It’s cleaner, more effective and easier to use than a septic tank because it doesn’t need to be cleaned or emptied and doesn’t create leakage problems;
  • It is odorless, as opposed to composting toilets and septic tanks;
  • It doesn’t require the work and energy involved in relocating composting toilets every year.

Impact:

The technology of the bio-digester toilet has proven a success at the places having sewage and septic tank problems. It is user friendly and most effective for community use as well.

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