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waste water recycling: Challenges and opportunities ahead!

Water being the means of subsistence, our basic existence and development over the centuries was surrounded near the source of water. From dawn of history, water management has been the primary aspect of governance.

However, with the increase in population and lack of proper awareness, this critical lifesaving resource is depleting. Further, with changes in our lifestyle, contributing to increase in vehicles on the road, and the basic necessity of keeping the vehicles clean. Thus periodic washing is gaining importance and momentum.

Vehicle wash stations use large volumes of water and release harmful chemicals into the environment through their operations. The Wastewater from vehicle wash include oil & other contaminants which can harm the environment and pollute the water sources. The vehicle wash water is contaminated with more than just detergent and mud. Other far more serious contaminants in the wash water include:

  • Petroleum hydrocarbons and Volatile Hydrocarbons;
  • Heavy metals;
  • Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen;
  • Surfactants and suspended solids.

These contaminated water from vehicle wash ends up in discharge to sewages or waterbodies. The detergents in the carwash wastewater cause foams which reduce oxygen levels and destroys fish mucus membranes; The oils in the wastewater can cover the gills of fish in the receiving water bodies and interfere with re-oxygenation thereby inhibiting plant and animal growth. Heavy metals emanating from brake linings, tyres and engine oils can bio-accumulate in fish tissue and move up the food chain to reach humans.

A study conducted and published by Verisk maple croft, UK suggest that India has been ranked as the 46th highest risk country in the world in the Water Stress Index 2019. As per the index, 11 of 20 largest Indian cities face an ‘extreme risk’ of water stress while 7 of them are in the ‘high risk’ category.

But drilling down to the city level shows 11 of India’s 20 largest cities are extreme risk:

  • Delhi
  • Chennai
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Ahmedabad
  • Indore
  • Kanpur
  • Nashik
  • Lucknow
  • Hyderabad
  • Bengaluru


Recently government of India have taken many initiatives such as Smart water management system under Smart city projects. These initiatives ensures management system which ensures proper planning, distribution, management and use. It also focuses on effective utilization of water sources and step towards proper water recycling system and minimal waste water disposal to protect the environment.

There are existing solutions like effluent treatment plants which can reduce the contamination in the waste water generated through vehicle wash but these doesn’t address the following challenges-

  • Treated waste water cannot be 100% recycled
  • High sludge volume
  • Manual method of chemical dosing
  • Tedious sludge removal process
  • Inconsistent treated water quality for reuse
  • Highly labour oriented
  • High space requirement
  • Batch process

We at ATS ELGI, through continuous research & product development process have launched & introduced – Water recycling plant – Aqua –R to cater the vehicle wash industry starting from two wheelers, passenger cars to commercial vehicles.

Aqua- R – The water recycling plant comes in two popular variants of 1000 LPH (litres per hour) and 4000 LPH (litres per hour) treatment models. Which can be customized based on number of vehicles washed per day in a workshop or washing centre.

The major advantages of Aqua- R – Water recycling plants are-

  • 100% recycling* of waste water
  • Zero discharge into sewage
  • Clear & consistent recycled water
  • Fully automatic dosing of chemicals- No manpower required
  • Auto discharge of sludge
  • 1/3rd of sludge volume when compared to conventional ETP
  • Continuous process – water quality can be monitored anytime

*Water losses due to evaporation & moisture in sludge are not considered here.

Aqua- R works on a chemical base model with coagulation and flocculation as basic working principle. The treated waste water can be re-used “n” number of times. Major parameters like pH, TSS, Oil & grease, BOD and COD are controlled and treated to a level which is prescribed as per PCB limits.

Return on investment for Aqua- R can be very attractive with major savings from-

  • Cost involved in purchase of fresh water
  • Cost involved in sewage

ATS ELGI’s Aqua- R – Water recycling plant is an ideal solution to your waste water management and recycling. Now you can reduce the waste water discharge to sewage and thereby contributing to the environment by savings costs.