Small steps towards water conservation

Article by Aquacare Team at Gokul dairy Gokul shirgoan, Kolhapur*


In many locations where the available supply of fresh water has become inadequate to meet water needs, it is clear that the once-used water collected from communities and municipalities must be viewed not as a waste to be disposed off but as a resource that must be reused. Because of health and safety concerns, water reuse applications are mostly restricted to non-potable uses such as landscape and agriculture irrigation. Plans are proceeding slowly towards groundwater recharge for repelling saltwater intrusion and towards the reuse in non-potable industrial applications (e.g. boiler water and cooling tower.)

Wastewater when recycled can be used to irrigate fields, sustain industrial activity and even create drinking water. Reuse can reduce the amount of freshwater required for these applications and decrease diversion of water from sensitive ecosystems.


In the process of distillation vapors passing through the condenser tube are cooled and condensed by water flowing through condenser tube in the condenser unit of the apparatus. In almost all laboratories the water used for cooling the condenser tube is coming from the water supply tap near the wash basin. The precious water after circulating through the condenser tube is left into the drain as wastewater. It has been observed that about 40 liters of water is required for cooling for making 500 ml of distilled water. The water after cooling is generally left to go into the drain.

Organic reactions run faster at higher temperatures and slower at lower temperatures. Many reactions commonly run in an organic laboratory need to be heated in order to proceed at a satisfactory rate. The most convenient way to heat a reaction is by boiling it in a solvent in a conical vial or round bottom flask. It is easy to observe whether or not a liquid is boiling, and because of the laws of thermodynamics, once boiling begins the temperature cannot rise any higher. To control the temperature of the reaction, simply choose a solvent with a boiling point at this temperature.

To prevent the solvent from boiling away, a reflux condenser is used. This is a glass column with a second column surrounding it through which cool water flows. As vapor from the boiling solvent rises into inside column of the reflux condenser, it is cooled by the jacket of water on the outside and condenses. It then falls back into the solution. In this way, you can maintain a reaction at the boiling point of the solvent indefinitely, as long as the water in the reflux condenser is cool enough to condense the entire vapor. Any time you heat a liquid, you should always stir it to avoid bumping. Bumping occurs when only the liquid at the very bottom is hot enough to boil, and it builds up pressure and bursts suddenly, sometimes spattering out of the container. The reflux condenser is open at the top to prevent pressure build-up.

COD (Chemical oxygen demand) often is used as a measurement of pollutants in wastewater and natural waters. The COD method determines the quantity of oxygen required to oxidize the organic matter in a waste sample, under specific conditions of oxidizing agent, temperature, and time. Principle of COD is to oxidize organic matter by a boiling mixture of chromic and sulfuric acids. A sample is refluxed in strongly acid solution with a known excess of potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7). After digestion, the remaining unreduced K2Cr2O7 is titrated with ferrous ammonium sulfate to determine the amount of K2Cr2O7 consumed and the oxidizable matter is calculated in terms of oxygen equivalent. Open reflux method is suitable for wide range of sample.


  • To reflux a reaction, add all of the reagents (COD test) to a conical round bottom flask as directed. Add a spin vane or a spin bar (round bottom flask) and top it with the reflux condenser, securing it with a clamp.
  • Attach tubing to the condenser so that water continuously flows from the tap into the bottom of the condenser, and out of the top and into the drain. (If you attach the tubing backwards, the water will just run down part of the inside of the condenser instead of filling it up, and won't do a good job of cooling.)
  • Turn on the stirrer and the water to be moving through the condenser fast enough to cool the vapor and then gradually heat the reaction until solvent refluxing. Liquid forming (solvent) in the condenser is flowing back into the reaction. It may appear as droplets or as a continuous stream.
  • When finished refluxing, allow the reaction to cool, turn off the water, remove the spin vane with forceps, and proceed with the instructions. Be patient while waiting for it to cool.

For complete digestion this process required two and half hours. Water plays important role in cooling the condenser. If the tubing is backwards water run inside the tube and not get good cooling effect. To get better cooling effect water must be go inside from bottom and out from top of the condenser.

Here we worked on this come out water from top and analyze some parameters like pH and temperature. We do not found significant changes in this parameter. We calculate flow of water coming out from top of condenser using 1000 ml measuring cylinder. Finally we use this water for gardening in front of our laboratory at Gokul dairy.

Calculation of Water

  • 1lt. per 1 min.
  • For 2 and 1/2 hr. 90 lt.
  • For cooling 30 min. 30 lt.

It's mean that we used 120 lt. water in one shift (8 hr.) here we analyze COD in 3 shift that means 360 lt. in 1day and 10,800 lt. water in 1 month.


From above calculation it is found that initial we were waste 10,800 lt. water per month. By taking small steps towards water conservation now we save and reuse that much quantity of water for gardening in front of our laboratory.

Also we thinking reuse of water used at the time of distilled water preparation. This water may be use for cleaning and washing of glassware’s and dishes.


What are the advantages of Waste water treatment?

Only 3% of world's water is suitable for human consumption, 2% water of that amount is found in ice & glaciers. So we remain with 1% of fresh water from water bodies and rest of the potable water is met by rainwater. Water is one of the most misused renewable resources and hence its treatment is neglected by numerous industries and us. Yes! You're right, not only industries but we are also to be blamed for the increasing global contamination of fresh water. Globally it is estimated that two million tons of sewage is discharged into water bodies, Due to the sewage discharged without any treatment the waterborne illness ratio of death of children less than 5 years of age has increased up 1.2 million.

The statistics makes you smile, does it? If not, We are happy you are one of our buddy sailors who's on a mission of 'Creating Clean Water Globally'. Do we really need to be taught about significance of water as a resource? Let's open our kinder garden books and read the one famous quote' Save Water, Save Life'.

We humans often don't realize the impacts until we have a list of consequences ready to be dealt with.

More than 38000 million liter per day sewage is generated in India. But, the treatment capacity is merely around 12000 million liter per day. The percentage is not even 32%. We aren't allowed to clear an examination below 35% grades and here we are polluting and stigmatizing Mother Nature.

In India, cities are considered as class-I which produce 35558. 12 MLD of total waste water which is 93% of total waste water produced. The statistics clearly indicate that literacy rate doesn't impart any significant thought process on us. Even after having a literacy rate of 74.04%, we fail to understand the global problem we are facing.

After going through the consequences list, let's dig deeper into the advantages of Wastewater treatment.

Waste water treatment processes can remove a variety of contaminants from water to make it usable for abundance applications. The benefit of the treatment depends on the contaminants or source of waste water. Researchers are developing new technologies to treat the waste water, such research leads to improvements in purification, the methods of water treatment and use of the waste products removed. We have characterized some advantages of Waste Water treatment.

1. Treatment Provides Clean Water

An estimated 8 Billion people would be polluting the Earth's conventional and non-conventional resources by 2025 which is dramatically high. You can conceptualize the impact of the rising population. The current water supply available is unable to sustain the current population, hence a process to produce better and more potable water is a must to guarantee a clean, usable water supply for everyone in the near future as well. Wastewater management can achieve this result by merely undergoing its natural process of taking excess or used water, dosing of chemicals for maintaining the pH value, biologically decomposing of the sewage and then filtering out harmful contaminants or sludge, leaving a water source clean and safe for everyone. This removes the factor of water shortage, droughts and harmful water supplies as the water can be reused timely again.

2. It prevents diseases

Adequate treatment of Waste water can really do wonders. Waste water usually contains very harmful chemicals and the source of hazardous effluent differs from industry to industry. This hazardous water if left untreated into the water bodies can often be carcinogenic and may engender a water borne epidemic such as cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, etc. Reduction of more than 90-95% is achieve through efficient technologies of waste water treatment. In these technologies the entire treatment process is divided into primary, Secondary and Tertiary stages.

3. Boon to the environment

One litre of untreated wastewater pollutes more than 8 litres of freshwater. A combination of right technology and proper operation of waste water treatment plants reduces waste and removes all the organic pollutants in the water supply, it has the potential to protect wildlife and fish by supplying clean water to several water bodies like rivers, oceans and sea. Citizens can enjoy the experience around these bodies of water knowing the water is clean and contaminant free. The water from the treatment plant can be repurposed to treat areas experiencing drought conditions or areas where the atmospheric or climatic condition are very severe.

4. Waste is recycled as compost

A significant amount of biodegradable material is removed from the waste water in the treatment process. This biodegradable material or we may call it as sludge can then be further used to produce methane gas and may be used as a source for producing electricity The compost contains biodegradable elements that are first dried with the use of 'sludge-drying lagoons' and then turned into natural fertilisers. This is an advantage not only in the agricultural industry but also in the environment since this reduces the use of chemical fertilisers that contribute towards soil, water and air pollution.

Advantages can really be sought after once we clearly adhere with the fact of committing ourselves for the betterment of our ecology and being the solution for environmental concerns, or else it can merely be a mission with no sailors or a one way trip to space where the entire universe would be observed by only one. Let’s join hands to make this world a better place to live,

Let's owe nature some respect everyday..bit by bit. Let's "Create Clean Water Globally"


Importance of Waste water treatment

The Purpose of waste water treatment

Clean water is one of the most significant natural resource on earth. Waste water has now become a huge matter of concern as it has a significant impact on our ecology. Waste water contains harmful substances which cannot be released back into the environment until it is treated. The aim to treat water is to restore the water supply and to protect the environment from toxins.

Waste water can be generated from both residential and commercial uses. Chemical compounds from waste water can harm the ecosystem as well as it is hazardous for human health.

Treated water can be source of water for many purposes. The best quality of water after treatment can be reused instead of disposing it to water bodies. Treating waste water to recycle/reuse can be helpful in areas with low water resources. It would be helpful in water conservation; It also helps to save on connection fees that might be extremely high due to the shortages. The waste water treatment would depend on the contaminants present in the water.

Why the waste water should be treated?

The sewage that from the sea has high concentration of pharmaceutical drugs that are potentially disastrous for aquatic life

The source of the untreated industrial effluent discharged first into the sewers and then waste water treatment plants (WWTP) are households and hospitals (HT).

Waste Water treatment plants
Waste Water treatment plants

The sewage that Mumbai pumps into the sea has high concentration of pharmaceutical drugs that are potentially disastrous for aquatic life, a first-of-its-kind study led by the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (IITB) revealed.

The source of the untreated industrial effluent discharged first into the sewers and then waste water treatment plants (WWTP) are households and hospitals.

When we consume any medicine, 30% is absorbed by the body, and about 70% gets excreted that goes into the sewerage treatment plants. But these treatment plants are not always designed to treat medicines,A customized system needs to be installed for such applications. Elevated levels of pharmaceuticals entering the creek before ultimately reaching the sea can affect aquatic life, and humans in the long run. For the study, the four-member team selected 12 commonly used industrial effluent from an initial list of 72 for seasonal monitoring at two WWTPs in the city. Results showed that the average load of industrial effluent on reaching the two treatment plants was 537 microgram per litre (ug/L) and 353 ug/L. In comparison, pharmaceutical concentrations in two similar WWTPs in the US - also part of the study - were found to be 50% less than Mumbai's WWTPs.

On treatment, 59% industrial effluent were removed before being released into the creek in the lagoon-based WWTP, while the advanced WWTP eliminated 85% industrial effluent. The US-based WWTPs were more efficient at removing industrial effluent at 10% - 30%.

Researchers have attributed an increase in the intake of pharmaceutical drugs to growing incomes and consumption patterns resulting in a rise in lifestyle diseases.

Such high concentration of pharmaceutical drugs when released into the water body acts as a poison for aquatic life and is carcinogenic. Some of these drug compounds can remain in fish tissues. When we consume fish, these compounds can get transferred to human tissues.

There is a need to upgrade existing waste water treatment facilities around the country so as to be able to treat all types of industrial effluents before effluents are released into the environment.

With treated wastewater not released into rivers in Mumbai the possibility of contaminating drinking water sources can be low.But non treated industrial effluent can have adverse effect on health of living organisms. Some are known to have endocrine disruptive effects where they affect the production of natural hormones.

The major aim of wastewater treatment is to remove as much of the suspended solids as possible before the remaining water, called effluent, is discharged back to the environment. As solid material decays, it uses up oxygen, which is needed by the plants and animals living in the water.

We, the highest polluter and consumer of water hold our selves responsible for the ecological imbalance. And we think it is high time to pledge our devotion towards conservation of not only water but all renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Let's Create Clean Water Globally!