New Delhi: Drinking water from sewage could soon be a reality in Delhi. To deal with the increasing problem of water shortage in the national capital, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and a non-governmental organization called SANA (Social Awarness, Newer Alternatives) have started a project called ‘Sujala Dhara—Toilet to tap water’ that will recycle sewage waste into drinking water.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday inaugurated the pilot project set up at Keshopur Sewage Treatment Plant in West Delhi.

“Today is a historic day. Delhi doesn’t have adequate water resources. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are facing their own shortage. We will need to make our arrangements… The solution is this plant. Imagine if the waste from our households can be used to produce drinking water," Kejriwal said.

Expressing his wish to take this project to other constituencies, Kejriwal said “if extra money is required then the government is there. We can solve the problem of sewage through this."

The plant, set up at a cost of 55 lakh by SANA, is powered by solar energy and can produce around 4,000 litres of clean water every hour. It can run 24 hours a day producing over 25 million litres of drinking water every year. The technology has been designed by Absolute Water, an integrated water management company.

The water from the sewage pit goes through a bio filter that has seven layers of organic and inorganic material including plants, earthworms, sand and pebbles. The water filter goes through a nano-filter membrane for further treatment.

“With toilet to tap water—transforming lifestyle through technology we are celebrating and drinking recycled water," said Sanchaita Gajapati Raju, founder and managing trustee of SANA.

“At a time when saving water is of utmost importance, we are using untreated waste and making that into water that is fit for drinking," Raju said.

Officials of the DJB say that while the cost may be double of the cost of setting up a regular sewage treatment plant, the low operating costs make this beneficial.

This water will be first supplied to the Delhi secretariat, DJB office and residence of officials who live close to the plant.

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