SHEFROL: An Eco-friendly way of treating water

Aug 5, 2015 13:25 IST

Scientific technology named SHEFROL (SHEet Flow ROot Level) was in news in the first week of August 2015. It was in news as the SHEFROL-based waste water treatment plant built at Chinna Kalapet fishing hamlet in Puducherry, was found to be successful.

The waste water treatment plant was set up in November 2014 by PhD student Ashraf Bhat as part of his thesis work with the guidance of Assistant Professor Tasneem Bhat. Both are from the Centre for Pollution Control and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Technology, Pondicherry University.

The plant uses clean, green and inexpensive technology called SHEFROL method to treat wastewater using two aquatic plants, four leaf clover and water hyacinth.

Highlights of waste water treatment plant

• The plant was designed by Professor SA Abbasi from Pondicherry University. The plant measures around 9 metres and has a capacity of 10000 litres.
• This bio-reactor uses the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) to absorb nutrients, pathogens and micro organisms from water.
• The plant consists of sand bags placed in pits and channels, a sedimentation tank and a non-permeable sheet which ensures wastewater does not seep into the ground.
• The treated water is used to irrigate a patch of Casuarina saplings.
• This plant takes only six hours to treat wastewater. It also rids it of its turbidity and smell.

SHEFROL technology

The SHEFROL technology was first tested within the Pondicherry University in 2006 to treat the wastewater for one building. Subsequently, two more plants were installed in the university using the same technology, which uses duckweed, water hyacinth and salvinia.
 
The SHEFROL technology can be used anywhere. It makes use of the topography and gravity, thus doing away with the requirement of pumping water.

A patent claim for the SHEFROL technology, backed financially by the Department of Biotechnology, Union Ministry of Science and Technology, was registered in 2011, and published in the Official Journal of The Patent Office, India.

Though the technology has been patented, the inventors are offering free transfer of technology to communities and in public interest It is inexpensive, efficient, simple, robust and eco-friendly.

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