Startup’s Filtration System Makes Water From Sewage Therapy Vegetation Match For Consuming
Vikas Brahmavar, a local of Bengaluru, remembers his days working in London earlier than transferring again to his hometown in 2008. On workplace days in London, throughout his lunch break, Vikas would take a stroll on Tower Bridge, one of many metropolis’s most well-known landmarks.
“Whereas strolling on the bridge, I used to be shocked to note that there was completely no odor emanating from the River Thames. It was a stark distinction to our lakes in Bengaluru. In the back of my thoughts, I all the time had this urge to come back again dwelling and do one thing in and round water infrastructure,” remembers Vikas, an engineer, in a dialog with The Higher India.
Upon transferring again to Bengaluru, he determined to work in the direction of constructing a sustainable wastewater infrastructure for Indian cities. Establishing Trans Water System, a water remedy enterprise, in 2011, he centered on non-chemical water remedy within the preliminary years. In 2014, he took it up a notch and sought to create a bigger influence by specializing in recovering wastewater.
“We realised there are numerous people who find themselves engaged on sewage remedy crops (STP). Nevertheless, the intention of establishing an STP was to fulfill authorities norms and to not save water. We did a survey for about 200 residences and located that solely 20% of STP (sewage remedy plant) handled water is reused for backyard and flushing functions,” explains Vikas.
“The remaining is shipped to the drain. It is because there is no such thing as a avenue to make use of the surplus water. This can be a widespread downside in Indian cities. For a rustic that faces extreme water scarcity yearly, wastewater holds nice potential to deal with water shortage in our cities,” he provides.
He additionally realised that large volumes of water get utterly wasted and this is among the major causes behind the air pollution of Bengaluru’s lakes, extreme borewell exploitation and water shortage. Developed cities in different elements of the world plan their water administration primarily based on the wastewater going out of the town because it’s extra predictable.
“They don’t rely upon rain to handle their water necessities. In Indian cities, we rely solely on rainwater for our water necessities. We wished to alter this infrastructure and concentrate on recovering potable water from wastewater. That is the one means through which our cities can cater to the rising demand for water and turn into extra sustainable,” says Vikas.
In 2019, underneath the aegis of Trans Water System, Vikas and his good friend Gowthaman Desingh, a software program engineer, launched Boson Whitewater system that converts handled wastewater (STP water) into “high-quality potable water”. The setup has superior an IoT (Web of Issues) and AI (synthetic intelligence) enabled 11-step filtration system to cut back the varied bodily, chemical and organic contaminants current in handled wastewater.
“Boson Whitewater (BWW) was launched to produce the very best high quality water produced from wastewater. It was launched in 2019 after a couple of years of analysis, product growth and sensible implementation on websites to make the product economically viable. Presently, we work with industries, IT parks, malls and condo communities in Bengaluru and extra not too long ago in Hyderabad, and recycle their wastewater. We’re centered on making a round financial system in decentralised wastewater restoration and reuse,” says Vikas.
On the finish of their 11-step filtration course of, Vikas claims that the water doesn’t have any contaminants. “E Coli, coliforms, heavy metals, excessive hardness, pesticides, herbicides are all eliminated and the water is crystal clear and potable,” he claims.
“Nationwide Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) licensed lab stories point out the water is drinkable. Our IoT platform collects varied parameters at each stage of filtration and makes use of AI algorithms to detect the varied anomalies like filtration efficiencies, variation within the lifetime of filters and pump failures,” he provides.
11 steps to wash water
Within the first 4 levels of BWW’s 11-stage system, handled wastewater is taken by means of varied filtration techniques to cut back the turbidity, odour and iron current within the water utilizing their “distinctive filters”. Normally, folks use varied varieties of sand media (a kind of filter) for turbidity discount. However regular sand media fouls (when contaminants gather on the floor or within the pores of a filtration membrane) for organics and wishes alternative each six months.
“We use a specialised aluminosilicate materials produced utilizing crushed glass materials and it doesn’t foul, offers 80% higher turbidity discount and wishes alternative solely after 5-6 years. For iron discount, we use a manganese dioxide-based ore which absorbs the iron. With none chemical substances we will scale back the iron stage from 1.5 ppm (elements per million) ranges to lower than 0.3 ppm ranges,” claims Vikas.
For many who don’t know, iron may cause turbidity, a foul odour which may result in quite a lot of well being issues whether it is present in excessive focus in water.
“The opposite two levels are media filters utilizing clinoptilolite supplies for TSS (complete suspended solids) discount which is once more a kind of ore which does filtration down to five microns. We obtain a really excessive discount in TSS. All these levels are very distinctive and make the entire proposition viable for the organisation. We additionally use specialised impregnated carbon which has increased TOC (complete natural contaminants) elimination and we use this for odour discount,” says Gowthaman.
Within the subsequent 2 levels, BWW makes use of various kinds of dosing techniques to cut back the natural contaminants current within the water, adopted by totally different ranges of micron filtration techniques.
“The dosing techniques are regular pumps designed to dose about 6 litres of oxidation agent per hour. The oxidation agent we use ensures a drastic discount of BOD (organic oxygen demand). Not like standard chlorine dosing which might have chloramine points, we now have natural dosing materials which is efficient and provides higher worth than standard disinfection strategies. We use cartridges which obtain 1-micron filtration ranges with bodily filtration,” explains Vikas.
Low BOD signifies that the water is much less polluted by natural matter.
After this stage, the wastewater is taken by means of the Boson excessive restoration, low fouling membrane system which is designed to take away viruses and dissolved salts current.
“Boson Excessive restoration system filters particles right down to 0.001 microns. The viruses are usually within the 0.1-0.01 micron vary and simply get filtered. The scale of most dissolved particles is within the vary of 0.01- 0.001 and due to this fact even most salts and heavy metals ions get filtered with membrane filtration. Not like standard membrane which rejects/wastes a number of water, we get better greater than 75% of water within the first cycle and the remaining 25% is given again to the enter cycle with environment friendly water stability, pH neutralisation and dilution. This makes the Boson system the very best restoration system and most viable commercially in India,” claims Gowthaman.
Publish filtration, any residual micro organism and viruses current within the water are eliminated utilizing an ultraviolet (UV) disinfectant system. For extra security, and when exterior water is blended with the handled water, BWW employs a SS 304 housing-based high-contact UV disinfection system. These UV techniques cross 254 nm (nanometre) rays to disinfect the water.
Deploying AI, IoT and promoting potable water
The BOSON IoT platform is an built-in platform to gather the varied system parameters, water high quality and amount from the BWW system.
“It’s designed to gather the varied system parameters like stress at totally different levels and water high quality parameters to measure the system effectivity which helps us in operating the system with lesser downtime. The startup operates a completely automated system the place no manpower is deployed to function and preserve the system. By way of our IoT platform we get real-time updates that assist us in managing the system remotely,” explains Vikas.
The BOSON IoT platform collects varied parameters at each stage of filtration and makes use of AI algorithms to detect varied anomalies like filtration efficiencies, variations within the lifetime of filters and pump failures. These datasets assist them in managing their inventories and manpower higher.
Going additional, each water remedy system wants many elements to make it totally built-in and purposeful. Few core elements like membranes are imported and few ores can be found regionally from varied Indian cities. The problem is to assemble all the pieces, make all of it work collectively and complement one another and chemically fulfill the water traits.
“The BWW system is at present designed from 30,000 litres per day to 4,00,000 litres per day. Based mostly on the requirement it may be designed and equipped for any required quantity. For one of many largest malls, we’re recovering about 1,50,000 litres of water per day,” claims Vikas.
Boson Whitewater is at present being offered on the ‘Opex mannequin’, the place the system is put in and maintained by Boson and water is offered to prospects on a per litre foundation. It’s widespread for condo complexes, IT parks and malls with centralised air-con to purchase water in tankers, which is then handled on-site and employed in cooling towers. Underneath the BWW mannequin, these prospects solely must pay for recycled water which prices lower than tanker water. Set up and operational prices are absorbed by BWW. This enterprise mannequin helps IT parks, malls and condo complexes considerably scale back their dependence on tanker water.
“The price of Whitewater is between 8 to 10 paise per litre on common, nonetheless, it may go to 14 paise relying on the kind of contaminants within the water. The price of putting in a 100 kilolitre system prices us roughly Rs 35-37 lakh. BWW is at present capped at a minimal quantity of 30,000 litres per day because the economics isn’t viable for decrease quantity, therefore we’re focusing largely on Bulk wastewater turbines. Ultimately, there might be a day we may have techniques viable for the home residential section,” he notes.
Vikas additionally emphasises that at current residences don’t use the handled water for consuming functions primarily due to a “notion problem”.
“Once we use the time period ‘recycled water’, most individuals by no means consider potability reuse. They all the time assume that recycled water is solely for secondary use. The water is clear and can be utilized for all functions, together with consuming. Presently, the surplus water is being despatched to close by industries and malls for all their inner use,” he says.
Shameer Abdul Rasheed, a resident of SJR Verity condo advanced in Bengaluru, tells The Higher India how BWW arrange their system earlier this 12 months in March 2022.
“On a per-day foundation, their system treats 70,000 litres of wastewater. We use the handled water for gardening and different functions. However as an alternative of losing the surplus handled water, it’s put by means of further purification and despatched out to laundry providers, hospitals and different industries close by. These entities now not must buy freshwater or extract additional groundwater for his or her cooling techniques or different functions, however as an alternative, use the potable water generated by BWW’s system. BWW makes use of our house, for which they pay us a specific amount every month, electrical energy (which they reimburse) and so they promote the purified water,” says Shameer.
The startup has not too long ago raised $419,000 (Rs 3.45 crore) in funding from the Indian Angel Community, a bunch of primarily Indian angel buyers funding early-stage startups.
Boson Whitewater was additionally not too long ago chosen for ‘India Water Pitch-Pilot-Scale Begin-Up Problem’ by the Ministry of Housing & City Affairs (MoHUA). The enterprise is one among the many 76 startups chosen for the problem from throughout India to work within the subject of water provide, used water administration, water physique rejuvenation and floor water administration.
“Trying forward, we need to set up our Boson Whitewater system at 10 extra massive residences on this monetary 12 months, save moreover about 50 crore litres of water and arrange related techniques in IT parks and malls. We’ve not too long ago launched operations in Hyderabad. By the following monetary 12 months, we’ll increase to Chennai. Over the following few years with our collaboration and partnership with varied citizen boards and industries we should always attain 500 crore litres of water created from handled wastewater,” says Vikas.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)
(Photos above courtesy Boson Whitewater. Function Picture with Vikas Brahmavar and Gowthaman Desingh)