Status of water treatment plants in India

Status of water treatment plants in India

Report from the Central Pollution Control Board (India)


Water is a precious commodity. Most of the earth water is sea water. About 2.5% of the water is fresh water that does not contain significant levels of dissolved minerals or salt and two third of that is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. In total only 0.01% of the total water of the planet is accessible for consumption. Clean drinking water is a basic human need. Unfortunately, more than one in six people still lack reliable access to this precious resource in developing world.

India accounts for 2.45% of land area and 4% of water resources of the world but represents 16% of the world population. With the present population growth-rate (1.9 per cent per year), the population is expected to cross the 1.5 billion mark by 2050. The Planning Commission, Government of India has estimated the water demand increase from 710 BCM (Billion Cubic Meters) in 2010 to almost 1180 BCM in 2050 with domestic and industrial water consumption expected to increase almost2.5 times. The trend of urbanization in India is exerting stress on civic authorities to provide basic requirement such as safe drinking water, sanitation and infrastructure. The rapid growth of population has exerted the portable water demand, which requires exploration of raw water sources, developing treatment and distribution systems.

The raw water quality available in India varies significantly, resulting in modifications to the conventional water treatment scheme consisting of aeration, chemical coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. The backwash water and sludge generation from water treatment plants are of environment concern in terms of disposal. Therefore, optimization of chemical dosing and filter runs carries importance to reduce the rejects from the water treatment plants. Also there is a need to study the water treatment plants for their operational status and to explore the best feasible mechanism to ensure proper drinking water production with least possible rejects and its management. With this backdrop, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), studied water treatment plants located across the country, for prevailing raw water quality, water treatment technologies, operational practices, chemical consumption and rejects management.

This document presents study findings and views for better management of water treatment plants.