Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's School of Biotechnology has developed a patented system to purify wastewater discharged from toilets using layers of biological filters (bacteriophages, specific algae, bacterial consortia, different biological control agents against enteric pathogens and aquatic plants). The technology was developed with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the Department of Biotechnology (Govt of India), the Department of Science and Technology (Govt of India), and IC-Impacts, Canada.
In a project in Guptapada, Odisha, the Sanitation Biotechnology lab with the help of Ammachi Lab of Amrita University has deployed this technology in toilet wastewater treatment. The project involves making wastewater suitable for re-use for agriculture and fisheries. Thanks to the Swachh Bharat mission, toilet availability is now almost 100%. However, there is an urgent need for proper maintenance and management of toilets, discharged wastewater and faecal sludge.
Amrita University’s Sanitation Biotechnology Lab is testing out two models in this regard. One model is a vertical garden, for areas where space is a constraint and the other is a horizontal garden, in areas where space is not a constraint. In both cases, wastewater passes through different biological filters to reduce pollution & grow plants for wealth generation & beautification.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math is considering deploying similar models in 101 villages adopted by the Math. Besides wastewater treatment, vertical/roof gardens have huge potential in combating extreme heat, air pollution and even floods in urban areas. The University is now scouting for partners to implement similar gardens in urban areas as well.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (www.amrita.edu) is a very young University (18 years of age) growing at a rapid pace in terms of its research and academic programs. Today we are ranked in the Top 100 universities in the World for its Impact as per THE 2021 Impact Rankings) (www.amrita.edu/rankings). In India, as per the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF), we are ranked as the 4th best university amongst all public and private universities. Recently we were also the youngest University in India to be accredited with the highest grade of A++ by National Accreditation Council (NAAC), Government of India
Amrita partners with academic, industry and governmental institutions across the world to accomplish human-centered, translational, and groundbreaking research. To date, Amrita has more than 500 collaborations from more than 200 signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs). Some of Amrita’s partners include Harvard University, Columbia University, King’s College London, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, VU Amsterdam, the British Geological Society, University of Oxford, Italian National Research Council, Deakin University, and the University of Tokyo. Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), a world-renowned humanitarian leader is the founder, Chancellor, and guiding light of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Amma’s words, thoughts, and vision for education and research have shaped the university’s mission and vision.
(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Education Diary. The original article can be found at https://indiaeducationdiary.in/amrita-vishwa-vidyapeetham-develops-technology-to-treat-toilet-wastewater-through-biological-filters/)