IIT Jodhpur builds low cost water purification, treatment unit for schools in rural Rajasthan – Times of India

New Delhi: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jodhpur have set up a low-cost water purification and treatment unit for schools in rural Rajasthan.

The water purification unit uses membrane-assisted sorption-based ultrafiltration (UF) technology to ensure that the water is refined for pure and efficient use. The improved unit is portable and has been initially set up in five schools in rural areas of Jodhpur, Sirohi and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan.

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According to institute officials, washing hands more than once a day, cleaning floors and surfaces in public places has become a routine practice in the wake of the epidemic. “At the same time, the need for water is increasing, so is the production of wastewater in both rural and urban areas. There is a need for smart graded water supply grids, water budgeting and water auditing.

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“To address this, IIT Jodhpur is using its expertise to look at water quantity and quality requirements as a whole for the benefit of the society. These include water resource management, water conservation, water purification, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse.” Pradeep K. Tiwari, Head, Department of Chemical Engineering.

The team has designed, installed and demonstrated low cost water purification and treatment units in the country for the reuse of treated gray water used for non-drinking purposes. One of the major advantages of this decentralized unit is that it is managed by the end user and there is no manpower cost to operate the unit, thus it is affordable.

“Installation, Operation and Maintenance (O&M) education ensures local participation of teachers, staff members and students.

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“Elementary school students are introduced to the practical aspects of education in this unit. It serves as an innovative approach to a decentralized community-led system of skills development at the elementary level,” Tewari said.

According to the team, wastewater treatment units have the potential to encourage water washing practices in the hands of Rajasthan, which has only 1-2 per cent of the country’s water resources.

“Using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds and equivalent support, IIT Jodhpur will design and install units in 25 schools in and around Jodhpur,” Tewari said.

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Other members of the team included Prashant Kumar Gupta, faculty of the institute, Vicky Anand and Nirmali Bachar.

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