Effective pumping to sustainably clean the Ganges
As part of the National Clean Ganga Mission, ANDRITZ supplied 15 pumps for conveying tannery wastewater and effluent to effluent treatment plants in Kanpur, India, to clean the River Ganges in preparation for the 2019 Kumbh Mela festival.
Usually, more than 120 million Hindu devotees participate in Kumbh Mela, making it one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. The main highlight of this central pilgrimage and festival of Hinduism is the ritual dipping into or bathing in the water combined with a prayer. This is believed to liberate the devotee from the cycle of rebirths or result in atonement and penance for mistakes and sins committed. The motivations for bathing might be different, but the water quality of the rivers, especially the Ganges at Kanpur, India, is life-threatening due to discharge of untreated sewage, effluents, drainage, etc. into the Ganges River.
River pollution on the rise
In India, the majority of the rivers are absolutely filthy. According to a 2019 study issued by the Central Pollution Control Board, a statutory organization under the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the number of polluted stretches in the rivers has increased from 301 to 351 in the past two years. The number of critically polluted ones has even risen from 34 to 45. Among them is also the largest river on the Indian subcontinent, the Ganges. It is considered the sixth-most polluted river in the world.
Clean Ganga Mission for Kumbh Mela
In addition to numerous long-term programs to clean the river, the Government Department of India for Uttar Pradesh strengthened the Clean Ganga Mission for Kumbh Mela well ahead of the religious event, which took place from January 15 to March 4, 2019. A major stimulus behind this initiative was a report by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board stating that the River Ganges at Prayagraj is unsafe for bathing both upstream and downstream. The report showed that the water contains extremely high levels of coliform bacteria, mostly fecal coliform. Large numbers of such coliform bacteria can lead to water-borne diseases such as diarrhea.
Usually, more than 120 million Hindu devotees participate in Kumbh Mela, making it one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
To quickly improve this situation and ensure safe Ganges water for the devotees visiting Kumbh Mela 2019, the State Mission for Clean Ganga of Uttar Pradesh took various measures to treat the wastewater discharged into the river. These included also to replace old pumps in the effluent pumping stations along the river in Kanpur. These pumps are not able to effectively handle today’s waste and thus, they break down regularly. To tackle this issue and prevent untreated wastewater from flowing into the Ganges, existing effluent pumping stations were renovated with new pumps.
The pumps in the effluent pumping stations along the river in Kanpur were not up-to-date and too old to effectively handle today’s waste. Thus, they break down regularly allowing the untreated wastewater to run back into the Ganges.
The award specifications for supply of the pumps to the effluent treatment plants were quite strict: a tight delivery time of three months and the capability to handle fibrous liquids with a density of up to 1300 kg/m3. Thanks to its ability to ensure fast delivery and commissioning within the given period as well as fulfilling the pumps’ technical requirements, ANDRITZ was awarded the contract to manufacture and supply 15 new pumps, including 4 self-priming pumps to seven pumping stations in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The infrastructure expert
In the Clean Ganga Mission for Kumbh Mela, the scope of supply consisted of four ANDRITZ self-priming pumps from the AD series and eleven ANDRITZ single-stage centrifugal pumps from the ACP series. The latter pump type is particularly versatile thanks to its highly wear-resistant, open impeller design, low axial thrust, and open channels. Depending on the impeller design, the pumps can convey slightly contaminated as well as heavily contaminated media containing some solids and with consistencies of up to 8 percent. Thus, these pumps are suitable for conveying many different media, allowing them to be installed as process pumps in a wide range of industrial applications from pulp and paper to water supply and wastewater treatment. A modular system ensures high availability, enables the use of proven components and reduces the number of spare parts to be held in stock.
To round off the pumps order, ANDRITZ self-priming pumps from the AD series achieve high priming and degassing performance thanks to their integrated vacuum pump. With its open impeller, the pump is designed for and insensitive to transporting high solids-containing media or even viscous media. The open impeller also provides better efficiencies with viscous media compared to closed impellers. The integrated vacuum pump prevents air from collecting at the impeller inlet and guarantees that the pump primes well, even with high gas content or unfavorable suction pipe arrangements. Thanks to these design features, the self-priming centrifugal pumps are perfectly suited for applications and processes in wastewater treatment.
Completed within a record time of three months from award of the order to the pumps’ erection and commissioning, the hydraulic machines were installed at the most critical application in the process. They pump the tannery wastewater up to the effluent treatment plant. To perform this task reliably, the pumps are capable of handling fibrous liquids with a density of up to 1300 kg/m3. Since their start-up, all the pumps have been working successfully without any problems to the customer’s full satisfaction and contribute to noticeably cleaner water in the downstream Ganges region, covering a 135-kilometer route from Allahabad.