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Identifying best available technologies for decentralized wastewater treatment and resource recovery for India

Project description

Treating wastewater when and where necessary

The treatment of urban wastewater is fundamental to ensuring public health and environmental protection. Decentralised water and wastewater treatment are flexible and sustainable alternatives to large treatment plants. It can help solve water scarcity and climate resilience challenges. It involves locating water and wastewater treatment plants at the site of water supply, demand, or both. The EU-funded SARASWATI 2.0 project will identify the most affordable and best available technologies. A continuation of the previous project SARASWATI (named after the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science and the name of the lost holy river in India), pilots will be conducted in India, which suffers from a low level of adequate wastewater treatment.


The aim of SARASWATI 2.0 is to identify best available and affordable technologies for decentralized wastewater treatment with scope of resource/energy recovery and reuse in urban and rural areas. Further, it addresses the challenge of real time monitoring and automation. The previous SARASWATI project has shown that a number of decentralized wastewater treatment plants in India do not perform properly and that there are few plants that would meet the more stringent standards as those proposed by the Indian Government in 2015. Thus, in many cases not even CATNAP (the cheapest available technology narrowly avoiding prosecution) has been applied, leading to high pollution levels. The SARASWATI project therefore proposed to adopt the principle of BAT (best available technologies) in a more flexible way, adapting the definition of BAT to the local context, based on complementing the treatment efficiency with the costs of the treatment technology and affordability, and local context in the location of application. This will allow to identify BATs with more stringent standards if required and suitable for the location. Thereby, ten pilot technologies in 7 Indian States demonstrating enhanced removal of organic pollution (BOD, TSS), nutrients (particularly Nitrogen), organic micro-pollutants and pathogens have been proposed (WP1). Further, all pilots allow for resource recovery contributing to the principles of a circular economy and will undergo a comprehensive performance assessment (WP2) complemented by an extended sustainability assessment informed by recent ISO standards (WP4). This will allow identification of BATs for the Indian context. In addition, suitable automation and control strategies will be tested and recommended, taking into account the presence of operators and their level of knowledge and expertise (WP3). Finally, WP5 is dedicated to dissemination and exploitation of results. The consortium is comprised of a well-balanced EU-Indian team of 17 partners.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 446 250,00
Gregor mendel strasse 33
1180 Wien

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Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (16)