Featured in SIMPLICITY

Coimbatore: For the first time, Tamil Nadu is getting a mechanised technology to treat fecal sludge. Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development and Implementation of Special Programme SP Velumani inaugurated the Fecal Sludge Treatment Plant located in the Resource Recovery Park at Periyanaicken-Palayam (PNP) Town Panchayat in Coimbatore on Tuesday, 22 September. This Fecal Sludge Treatment Plant (FSTP) will also serve as a resource centre for the public to learn about the full cycle of sanitation.

The FSTP was designed and implemented by the Technical Support Unit (TSU) set up under the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The TSU implements the Tamil Nadu Urban Sanitation Support Programme (TNUSSP), and comprises a consortium of organisations led by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). Keystone Foundation is the city partner for Periyanaicken-Palayam and Narasimhanaicken-Palayam.

Minsiter SP Velumani said that this is the first mechanised FSTP with a capacity to treat up to 25 kilo litres of fecal sludge per day. He appreciated the work carried out by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and Keystone Foundation. “In places where an underground drainage systems are absent, the government is implementing constructing FSTPs,” he said.

Another notable feature of this FSTP is the use of cluster approach to all the urban local bodies (ULBs) within 10 km of the existing treatment facility shared by the cluster.

The cluster approach will ensure maximum utilization of these treatment facilities as well as streamline the collection, transportation and disposal of fecal waste. It will cater to a population of nearly 1 lakh, across the five town panchayats of Periyanaicken-Palayam, Gudalur, Idikarai, Narasimhanaicken-Palayam and Veerapandi.

The households and establishments were dependent on desludging operators (septic tank lorry) for removal of fecal waste from their septic tanks. This FSTP will decrease the distance and time for desludging operators in Periyanaicken Palayam (PNP) and the four surrounding town panchayats for disposal of fecal sludge at the Ukkadam Sewage Treatment Plant.

The mechanised FSTP at Periyanaicken-Palayam was planned as a demonstrative model to provide different technological options for adoption and scaling of Fecal Sludge Management (FSM) in the State. The establishment of the FSTP required approximately 2,000 m², which is one third the area needed for non-mechanised systems. This technique facilitates the use of different components to produce treated water and solids that is safe for reuse.

Sustainable fecal waste management will accelerate the reuse of water from this FSTP for cultivation, gardening, while co-locating the FSTP with the solid waste treatment facility will enable co-composting of dried solids with organic municipal solid waste which can be later used as manure. The space is visitor friendly with gender-segregated toilet facilities. In addition, the resource centre has hoardings that depict the salient features of the FSM and FSTP. There are also hoardings on landscaping plan and reuse models for visitors who are interested in learning more about the Plant. The wall paintings at the Plant site depict the importance of FSM, making it more interesting for children to learn about full cycle sanitation.

For more details contact – Niladri Chakraborti, Team Leader – Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) – 9438014198, Vinitha Murukesan, Additional Programme Coordinator, TNUSSP – 8870857800