Treated waste water to be used to irrigate fodder crops at Tiruchendur compost yard

The municipality owns a compost yard spread across 84 acres in the outskirts of the city.
Image used for representative purposes only. (File Photo | EPS)
Image used for representative purposes only. (File Photo | EPS)

THOOTHUKUDI:  Tiruchendur municipality has come up with a creative plan to use the treated wastewater of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) for the irrigation of crops at the compost yard. Agriculture engineering, animal husbandry and Aavin departments will join hands to execute the project, which aims to stop treated wastewater from entering the channels that pass through the municipal areas.

The municipality owns a compost yard spread across 84 acres on the outskirts of the city. They had installed the machinery for composting, segregation and manure at 15 acres while the remaining barren lands are occupied extensively by Seemai Karuvelam trees. The municipality has an STP at Thoppur with a designed capacity of 4.2 MLD to treat wastewater. At present, 2.1 MLD water is treated every day and is discharged into storm water drains.

Speaking to TNIE, collector Dr Senthil Raj said there was a concern over waste water discharge into storm water drains. "We came up with an idea of pumping treated waste water to the compost yard located 4.5 km away from the plant, and supplying the water to raise fodder crops on 10 acres in the compost yard," he added.

While the agriculture engineering department has cleared the seemai karuvelam trees in 10 acres and availed drip irrigation facilities, the animal husbandry department has selected fodder varieties such as CO-4, CO-FS and hedgehump, which are highly consumed by cattle such as goat and milch cows. Aavin department has been given the task of identifying the cattle farmers requiring fodder. The municipality will maintain the area where fodder is cultivated, said a senior official.

While the project has been chalked out to distribute fodder free of cost to eligible cattle farmers, the collector said it can reduce public woes of treated wastewater entering into the surplus channels of Ellappanayakkan and Avudayar Kulam tanks. Thoothukudi MP Kanimozhi launched the project by planting stem cuts of CO-FS, seeds of CO-4, and hedge-humps in the presence of Minister Anitha R Radhakrishnan at the Tiruchendur compost yard.

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