Shri Naveen Patnaink
Hon'ble Chief Minister,Orissa

Projects / Septage System

With growing urbanisation, sewage and septage have emerged as one of the biggest pollutants of water bodies and ground water in urban areas. A study by Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) on water quality of 11 major river systems across the State revealed water to be found unfit for human use at 90 places. Twelve rivers passing through major cities were identified as being contaminated due to flow of untreated sewage and septage. Realising the serious effect of untreated human waste on the water bodies of the State, the Government of Odisha in 2016 decided to adopt a non-sewer, decentralised and sustainable approach towards Faecal Sludge Management (FSM).

Following Principal Secretary, H&UDD’s visit to Malaysia in 2016 to study the implementation of FSM and the government’s partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), FSM was initiated in two towns of Dhenkanal and Angul under Project Nirmal. As most of the major rivers in the State flow through nine major cities having more than 50 % of the State’s urban population and were polluted by untreated sewage and septage, the Department took a holistic view and decided to implement the FSM model in these nine cities.

Budgetary allocation: Besides its own budgetary allocation, the State Government leveraged funds from the AMRUT scheme for setting up of faecal sludge & septage treatment infrastructure in the urban areas. This intervention helped the State in addressing the river water contamination issues

Improving access to mechanized desludging & strengthening processes: It was seen that limited number of cesspool vehicles across the State was a key gap in the safe collection and transportation of septage from toilet septic tanks in households and other properties. So, apart from the existing cesspool vehicles, the government procured 86 additional vehicles through its own funds during 2016-17 and provided to the needy ULBs to improve services across 114 cities of Odisha. Moreover, smaller cesspool vehicles were also procured for few cities to increase mechanized desludging in areas with narrow lanes and difficult to access streets. A total of 211 cesspool vehicles are now operational in the entire State. The cesspool vehicles provided to private operators through tender basis, capping the desludging rates within INR 1000, provide affordable services to the citizens.

Furthermore, the State notified guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for safe emptying, transporting and disposing of septage. Innovations in low-cost and safe temporary disposal at the Deep Row Entrenchment (DRE) sites as an interim solution, technological interventions through usage of GPS for tracking movement of cesspool vehicles and establishment of single window system for seeking cesspool vehicle services were among the other steps taken.

Adoption of low-cost technology for treatment facilities: The State decided to adopt the Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System (DEWATS) technology for the treatment process considering its cost-effectiveness and low human resource requirement for operation and maintenance. While land for setting up treatment facilities was provided by the state government, OWSSB was in charge of designing, developing plan and estimates and construction of the SeTPs. As a result, six SeTPs were first inaugurated in six major cities of the State in October 2018 followed by four more septage treatment facilities commissioned in 2019 in four other cities benefitting a total urban population of nearly 52%. The septage treatment facilities are now treating the waste generated by 10 major cities thus considerably reducing the disposal of untreated faecal waste into water bodies.

Scale-up from 10 to 114 cities: Strengthening its commitment to river pollution abatement and improving urban sanitation, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik announced the scaling up of FSM services from 10 ULBs to all 114 ULBs of Odisha during the National FSM Workshop held in Bhubaneswar during October 2018. Consequently, the government has started construction of another 29 treatment facilities which will be functional in 2020. With a total of 104 SeTPs under various stages of development which would be operational by 2021, Odisha will be treating septage generated by nearly 100% of the total urban populace. With the completion of sewerage system projects in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur and Rourkela by 2021, the treatment coverage of sewerage and septage will increase to cover 100 % of the urban population by the year 2021.

Key features
  • User-friendly O&M such as minimum/zero energy consumption minimizes O&M costs with need for mostly semi-skilled human resource
  • No human contact with faecal waste
  • Minimal odor during entire process from transportation to treatment
  • Gravity based system, based on natural and biological treatment, with no use of chemicals and minimal use of electricity
  • The low-cost technology, O&M demonstrates a scalable and sustainable model for septage management in India
  • Landscaping, plantation and solar paneling makes the SeTP environment friendly and socially acceptable
  • Landscaping in the vacant area of the plants reuses the treated wastewater and the sludge

Followings are the list of Septage Project:

  • Bhubaneswar
  • Puri
  • Berhampur
  • Baripada
  • Sambalpur
  • Cuttack
  • Balasore
  • Anugul
  • Dhenkanal