One of the most impactful things that the Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission can be credited for is an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India. Following the success of the first phase, the second phase aims at undertaking activities for the management of solid and liquid waste to attain ODF plus.
Open Defecation Free Plus
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation aims to ensure that all villages in the country become ODF Plus during Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen (SBM-G). To ascertain the current status of ODF Plus in rural India, the Department plans to conduct a baseline assessment across all villages.
An ODF plus village is defined as “a village which sustains its Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, ensures solid and liquid waste management, and is visually clean.” This includes ensuring that all households in a village, as well as the Primary School, Panchayat Ghar, and Anganwadi Centre, have access to a toilet. Furthermore, all the public places and at least 80% of households shall effectively manage their solid and liquid waste and have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water.
Greywater refers to domestic wastewater generated in households or domestic activities without fecal contamination, i.e., all streams except for the wastewater from toilets. This includes water from sinks, showers, baths, washing clothes, etc. This wastewater when not handled properly can be a threat to sanitation and can become breeding points for mosquitoes etc. It also pollutes the groundwater and can affect the socio-economic conditions of the families.
Waste Stabilization Pond in Haryana
The Ministry of Jal Shakti shared the success stories of various villages or districts in India that have been managing their greywater efficiently. In Haryana’s Karnal district, Sirsi village, Nissing Block faced problems due to stagnant water. This was unhygienic water from 2,400 individuals from 360 households.
They came up with a solution and formed Waste Stabilization Pond. A waste stabilization pond (WSP) is a series of shallow man-made basins that facilitate the digestion of organics in the greywater through natural processes within the stipulated retention time. It comprises of anaerobic, facultative, and maturation ponds.
The waste stabilization pond system not only solved issues related to greywater disposal but helped the Gram Panchayat acquire a source of revenue. It began to earn Rs. 0.50 lakh per annum, by leasing out the pond for fishing. The filthy site has now been converted into a picnic spot where the village community can enjoy their free time.
Similarly, to manage greywater waste, in Dhorka village, Gurugram, Haryana, a Phytorid Plant was constructed in 2019. Phytorid is a subsurface mixed-flow constructed wetland system. The phytorid system is a stand-alone sewage treatment system, based on natural treatment methods that have distinct advantages over conventional treatment plants. The technology is recommended for decentralized plants with varying capacities.
Community Leach Pit
Community Leach pit is another way through which greywater waste can be managed. The system is being adopted in the village panchayat of Pappankuzhi in Sriperumbudur Block of Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu. They have constructed both individual and community soak pits or leach pits.
Similarly, Dongli village in Narnaul Tehsil which has a population of 1,680 from 224 households, built a community leach pit which was connected to about 3–6 houses.
A community leach pit is a brick-lined pit constructed at a convenient place for a group of houses. The number of houses to be connected is calculated based on the greywater discharged from each house and the space available for the community leach pit.
These initiatives have contributed towards cleanliness of the Panchayats and the ODF Plus status.