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Absolute Water is a green technology water company that employs various disinfection treatment techniques to treat sewage and wastewater. Absolute Water Pvt. Ltd. has developed India’s first 100% green water recovery system that converts raw sewage into drinking water quality as per WHO standards. The company provides organic waste water solutions for various Institutions, Industries, municipal authorities, and commercial properties across India.
India, like most countries, is highly vulnerable to constant changes in water supply and in increasing amounts of wastewater. Climate change-related effects on India's monsoon have significant implications on agriculture, which makes India especially vulnerable as more than 60% of the country's population relies on agriculture for their livelihood. For a country facing serious water scarcity, polluted rivers, and contaminated groundwater, the cleaning and recycling of water offers the promise of providing India with clean drinking water.
Most water treatment plants and services in India use techniques like sand filtration, soap filtration, or an activated sludge process to clean water. However, these techniques require large capital investments and use large amounts of energy. Absolute Water, in contrast, treats water using sustainable methods instead of chemicals making it a completely green alternative. Initially, the company implemented a vermifiltration system. Vermifiltration is an economically affordable and environmentally sustainable technology for treatment of wastewater that uses earthworms to digest and process organic matter found in sewage. This is followed by a sand filtration process and then cleaned water is treated through ozonation rather than chlorination. Ozonation is a type of advanced oxidation process that helps in decolouration, deodorisation and purification of the water. The treatment of water with ozone has a wide range of applications, as it is efficient for disinfection as well as for the degradation of organic and inorganic pollutants. The ozone and UV treatment techniques are the only approved treatment methods that are found to treat the SARS-CoV-2 in untreated wastewater thereby making the treated water safe for consumption even during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
These processes enable Absolute Water to operate in a 100% green and efficient manner. In addition to providing clean potable water, a valuable byproduct is manure that is produced by the earthworms in vermifiltration.
Absolute Water's technologies operate on solar energy thereby eliminating large scale power consumption that is needed by traditional sewage treatment plants in the country. The company treats nearly 1,135 million liters of sewage every year which is then converted into clean water for India.
Absolute Water was a project started by founder Smita Singhal with the help of her father Sunil Singhal. Smita was concerned about the increasing stench of sewage water in Delhi that often found its way into their home’s water pipelines during the monsoon. Smita resolved to have this water treated so that it could be reused, and to find a way to provide natural, chemical-free, and drinkable water to Indian households just as it is provided to households in developed countries. Together with her father, they adopted the method of vermifiltration - using worms to treat sewage water, staying true to her words, "A simple choice today can create big waves of change."
The inspiration and passion behind starting this project was also driven by the need to change the public's perspective about the safety of consuming treated sewage water. Their processes provide clean, safe drinking water which Absolute Water believes is a critical step in addressing the ever-growing challenge of water scarcity in India.
Absolute Water currently has a total of 16 projects in India, from Bangalore all the way to Leh Ladakh. Three of their most successful handpicked projects are as follows -
1 Million Liters per Day (MLD) Bio-Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Delhi Technological University (Delhi College of Engineering) - Domestic sewage water is filtered and the resulting clean water is reused entirely by the campus. This was significant during recent construction and expansion at the university where the treated water was used for both drinking water and landscaping across the 260 acre campus both saving the university a large amount of money and demonstrating a wise use of natural resources.
0.5 MLD (500 KLD) Bio-STP Plant at Guru Nanak Dev College of Engineering, Ludhiana. Sewage water is treated at the university and then reused across the campus. In addition, the manure byproduct is used extensively for university horticulture. Excess manure obtained through the process is also distributed to the local farmers around the area.
Pond Rejuvenation at Kasan Gram Panchayat under Gurujal Water Management Initiative - The water that is treated from the pond is used at neighboring construction and industrial sites, as a part of agriculture and hydrating a Bio Diversity Park.
Projects such as these examples are also extremely important as they promote employment in rural areas. A benefit of Absolute Water's technology is that its basic operations do not require skilled labor for its functioning, thereby making it easier to employ citizens of rural areas seeking decent labor and employment.
As is generally understood within the business of water treatment and waste water management facilities, the key driver is gathering more clients and increasing the number of projects because that ensures a facility's healthy cash flow for the long run. This becomes an even bigger challenge when a company then decides to employ eco-friendly methods of water treatment. Although Absolute Water is an organization that uses 100% green technology, they have kept costs low, hence ensuring revenue generation is not threatened when compared with competitors. This is achieved through the following steps:
Firstly, they produce no sludge which is the residue that accumulates in sewage treatment plants. The result is low cost for the plant operators both in terms of operations and maintenance. Sludge treatment and disposal absorbs a large component of operational costs for most STPs and the process in itself is harmful to the environment in certain cases.
Secondly, Absolute Water uses only two pumps for their filtration process that consume minimal electricity, powered completely through solar panels. The company is one of the few operations in the country that is powered entirely through solar energy.
Thirdly, all parts of the system have revenue generation components - manure being their main output. For clients, clean-odor free recycled water and manure are their biggest returns on investment.
Sustainability is not just an output of their business, it is their business. Their 100% green technology provides a much safer solution for water treatment as it requires no usage of dangerous chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
Absolute Water’s technology is also beneficial as it is a big step in tackling the water crisis. Their cyclical process of reusing and retreating water circumvents challenges associated with water shortages. Through the treatment of sewage water, the amount of waste that is usually released into the environment is reduced thereby improving an area's environmental health.
The next strategic step for the company is to move their products to household markets where there is immense potential for growth. The company has developed products that can be setup within the house by using the water tanks found in most homes in India. This will help significantly in addressing the issue of water scarcity and potential zero ground water in the country. Said Mr. Govind Singh, Techno Commercial Executive at Absolute Water, “Despite being a relatively small operation ourselves, we treat and convert nearly 30 lakh liters of sewage water into clean water everyday. With a little help from decision makers and awareness among the public, we can scale these initiatives and rightfully tackle the issue of lack of safe water facing our nation.”
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Govind Singh, Techno-Commercial Senior Executive
Absolute Water converts sewage to drinking water quality as per World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Their innovative technology has led to the installation of India's first 100% green water recovery plant. The firm provides sewage water treatment plants to all types of clients, the majority of which are currently associated with government projects in India.