Efficiency of Biological Treatment Plant (BTP)
at Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL)

By M. Kumar¹, A. Puri¹, A. Kumar² and V. B. Goswami³
March 2007

  1. PhD, Research Associates, School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine & Department of Anesthesia, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh
  2. PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Botany, DAV College, Dehradun, Uttranchal
  3. ME, Senior Executive, Biological Treatment Plant (BTP), Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL), Rishikesh, Uttranchal
Abstract
The exponential development of industries and the increase in density of pollution has necessitated the treatment and controlled disposal of wastes. The India Drug & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (I.D.P.L.) has its fermentation based antibiotics manufacturing plant, producing B – lactams, Aminoglycosides, Tetracyclines, Macrolides and Antifungal, situated on the  west bank of river Ganga at Virbhadra near Rishikesh. The efficiency of effluent treatment at IDPL was assessed by comparison of waste effluent and treated effluent outgoing into inland surface water for physical, chemical & microbial.
The data indicates that total solids in treated effluents were reduced to 0.0348 mg/L as compared to 0.0487 mg/L in the incoming waste water. Dissolved solids was 0.034 mg/L in treated effluents where as in incoming waste water there were 0.0306 mg/L. The suspended solids in the outgoing treated waste water have also been brought down to the 0.0001 mg/L from 0.0181 mg/L. The nitrate content is 3.25 mg/L compared to incoming waste having Nil, Phosphate go increased 6.5 mg/L from 5.5 mg/L COD of the treated effluent has been 41.6 mg/L compared to incoming effluent with 32.8 mg/L similarly BOD5 is only 26 mg/L compared to incoming waste having 160 mg/L BOD. The total bacterial count in the incoming waste water was 60.46 x 105/mL which has been reduced by activated sludge process to 6.12 x 105/mL which has been further reduced to 3.00 x 105/mL by chlorination resulting in a total final reduction of bacterial count. Similarly MPN coli form count has been reduced to 0.25x105/100mL from 111.16 x 105/100mL
The analysis of physico-chemical and microbial characteristics of outgoing treated effluents at IDPL, Rishikesh after activated sludge process and chlorination indicated that the treated effluents have very significant improvement in quality effluent of waste by biological treatment  incoming waste of IDPL. The treated waste water further gets diluted after mixing with high volume of river Ganges and losses its identity. The Ganges water analysed before the after the confluence point treated waste water into Ganges, has show negligible alteration in physico-chemical characteristics of Ganga main stream and thus treated effluent discharge from IDPL, Rishikesh doses not pose any physical, chemical, biological or aesthetic pollution to the river Ganges.

Introduction

With increasing awareness for the protection of environment, treatment & disposal of industrial wastes has acquired great significance. The water (prevention and control of pollution) act (1974) stipulates strict control of pollution by industrial effluents to the natural water bodies, waste treatment technology in the Indian subcontinent should take full advantage of the environmental factors which are conducive for enhanced microbial activity.

The India Drug & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (I.D.P.L.) has its fermentation based antibiotics manufacturing plant, producing B – lactams, Aminoglycosides, Tetracyclines, Macrolides and Antifungal, situated on the  west bank of river Ganga at Virbhadra near Rishikesh. The typical wastes from fermentation plant like I.D.P.L., Rishikesh, include unconsumed inorganic and organic media components, treated or untreated microbial cells and other suspended solids, wastes from utilities, water containing solvents, acids, alkalies and chemicals of process, filter aids and human sewage as the industrial effluent. The community/municipal wastes from the township population joins this industrial effluent to make the sewage to be taken care of a mixed sewage. This to be treated effluent is a peculiar waste with organic matter (readily oxidisable by microbes) rich enough to drastically deplete dissolved oxygen concentration that also includes antimicrobial product (antibiotics) likely to be toxic to microbial purification of these effluents.

The large volume of effluent varying in strength composition and flow rate from I.D.P.L. Rishikesh, after removal of large sized impurities, is treated by activated sludge process involving biological oxidation of organic materials and chemicals, separation of activated sludge, anaerobic digestion, drying of sludge and chlorination of overflowing clear treated water from settling tanks to be channeled out for discharge into inland surface water. The process, thus, involves removal of organic matter to reduce biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), removal of suspended solids, materials, pH control and elimination of microbial populations (disinfection).

This biological treatment of waste water itself is a fermentation process, the end product of which, though not economically beneficial, is likely to be reused and has to be a quality product of producible uniformity. The entire process, thus converts the polluted effluents from the plant and township to chemically and microbiologically safe outgoing discharge required for retaining the wholesomeness of the recipient inland surface waters and river Ganges.

The investigations, made in the last decade designated as Internationational Drinkig Water Supply And Saitation Decade by United Nations and World Health Organisation, include the chemical and microbiological analysis of incoming water, the process of effluent waste treatment including monitoring of chemical and microbiological characteristics of the effluents, under treatment effluents and the outgoing treatment effluent discharge, particularly for providing information on the removal of BOD, COD, suspended solids, sludge characteristics and microbial composition at the various wastes treatment stags. Also included in this study are laboratory bench scale simulated experiments n shock/transient loading of organic waste and antibiotics and acclimatization. The efficiency of the effluent treatment, the quality of treated effluent discharge of I.D.P.L. Rishikesh and its impact on the quality of recipient inland surface water (river Ganges) has been evaluated.

Results

The efficiency of effluent treatment at IDPL was assessed by comparison of waste effluent and treated effluent outgoing into inland surface water for physical, chemical & microbial. Characteristics are presented in table:

Average Analysis of Incoming Waste Water & Outgoing Treated Effluent at IDPL Rishikesh
Characteristics Unit Incoming waste water Range Outgoing treated effluent Range
A Physico-Chemical
1 pH -- 7.5 7.0
2 Colour -- Faint brown Colour less to faint brown
3 Temperature °C 20°C 22°C
4 Total Solids mg/L 0.0487 0.0348
5 Dissolved Solids " 0.0306 0.0347
6 Suspended Solids " 0.0181 0.0001
7 Total Hardness " 167 164
8 Alkalinity " 19.3 9.1
9 Chloride " 14 13.5
10 Sulphate " 56 84
11 Nitrate " NIL 3.25
12 Nitrite " 0.5 NIL
13 Phosphate " 5.50 6.5
14 Total Nitrogen " 95 40
15 Ammonical Nitrogen " NIL 15
16 Albuminioid Nitrogen " NIL 18
17 Dissolved Oxygen " 1.0 11
18 COD " 32.8 41.6
19 BOD5 " 160 26
20 Residual Chlorine " NIL NIL
B Microbial
1 Total Bacterial Count x 105/mL 60.46 6.25 (before chlorination)
3.00 (after chlorination)
2 MPN Coliform x 105/mL 111.16 0.25 x 10²/100mL

The data indicates that total solids in treated effluents were reduced to 0.0348 mg/L as compared to 0.0487 mg/L in the incoming waste water. Dissolved solids was 0.034 mg/L in treated effluents where as in incoming waste water there were 0.0306 mg/L.

The suspended solids in the outgoing treated waste water have also been brought down to the 0.0001 mg/L from 0.0181 mg/L. The nitrate content is 3.25 mg/L compared to incoming waste having Nil, Phosphate go increased 6.5 mg/L from 5.5 mg/L COD of the treated effluent has been 41.6 mg/L compared to incoming effluent with 32.8 mg/L similarly BOD5 is only 26 mg/L compared to incoming waste having 160 mg/L BOD.

The total bacterial count in the incoming waste water was 60.46 x 105/mL which has been reduced by activated sludge process to 6.12 x 105/mL which has been further reduced to 3.00 x 105/mL by chlorination resulting in a total final reduction of bacterial count. Similarly MPN coli form count has been reduced to 0.25x105/100mL from 111.16 x 105/100mL

Fate of Outgoing Teted Waste Water into Inland Surface Water:

The treated outgoing waste water is channeled into river Ganga. After Confluencing with river, it loses its identity by further dilution. The data indicates that there is hardly any difference between the analysis of Ganga  water before & after confluence with outgoing treated waste water of IDPL. These observations further confirms the quality of the treated outgoing effluent from IDPL good enough to discharged into inland surface water like Gangas.

Discussion

The present investigations on the effluent treatment at I.D.P.L., Rishikesh comprises of the physico-chemical and microbiological study of the incoming waste effluent from I.D.P.L., under treatment waste and treated outgoing effluent. These studies have provided insight into the efficiency of the waste effluent treatment at I.D.P.L., Rishikesh and quality of outgoing treated effluents discharge into inland surface water.

The analysis of mixed liquor samples from aeration tank were also not indicative of the significance damage to the biological oxidation process. The system apparently seems to be very stablised/acclimatized to be variation in the composition, strength, volume and slow rate of the effluents including residual antibiotics, if any. Downing (1967) opined that the mixed culture developing in aeration tank in activated sludge process for antibiotics wastes have the ability to death with varied substrates, given an opportunity to adopt to withstand circumstances, generally inhibitory to microorganisms. Adams et. al., (1978) accepted that large mixed aeration tank to have higher resistance to shock loading because the shock getting dispersed into greater volume. Mudrack et al (1987) attributed the adaptability of the biological treatment system to frequent changes in composition, flow rate and toxic substance mainly to the multiplicity of species in the biogenesis of the activated sludge.

Certainly these conclusions have proved to be the basis of successful purification of mixed effluents at antibiotics manufacturing unit of I.D.P.L., Rishikesh, through activated sludge processes.

The commitment of Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Rishikesh to restore an maintain the physical, chemical, biological, aesthetic integrity and hence the wholesomeness of the inland surface water is, thus, fulfilled by the efficiency biological treatment of effluents from the industry and the community.

Summary

With increasing awareness for the protection of environment, treatment & disposal of industrial wastes has acquired great significance. The pollution of water course thought industrial & Community wastes is emerging a hazard to public health. However, this been global awareness on the treatment & controlled disposal of wastes to counter the periodic outbreaks of waterborne epidemics.

The incoming wastes from antibiotics manufacturing process at IDPL & the faecal sewage from the township received at effluent treatment plant as mixed Sewage was analyzed for Physico-Chemical & biological characteristics. These values of chemical & microbiological analysis are indicting for the pollutants. These analysis show the average normal values & are likely to show deviation due to vary to flow discharge of effluents of variable load & composition.

The waste water undergoes gradient filtration through bar screens and send traps for removing particulate water and solid. The primary vertical settling tanks (PVS) carry out separation of heavy organic settleable matter. The overflow from PVS tank is passed through homogenizing and equalizing tank (mixer tank) to aeration tank, where mixed cultures of heterogeneous microorganisms purify the effluents by oxidation in presence sufficient air. This biological oxidation of wastes is known as activated sludge process. The oxidised mixed liquor undergoes sludge separation through Final Radial Settling (FRS) tank and the overflowing treated waste water is channeled out after chlorination to be discharge into inland surface water. Part of the settled activated sludge separated from FRS is returned to aeration tank to be used as seed/inoculum and rest sludge along with raw sludge from PVS is fed to digester for anaerobic fermentation. The digested sludge goes to sludge drying beds. The overflow from sludge compactors and filtrate from sand/sludge drying beds is recirculated into treatment process along with incoming waste.

The microbial population in mixed liquor has been observed to be dominated by Gram negative bacteria, ciliate protozoa few forms of Actiomycetes (Nocardia sp., Streptomyses sp.) and fungi (Aspergillus Niger, Penicillium fumiculosum and Cladosporium herbarum) were isolated.  The Gram negative bacteria isolated from aeration tank include Aerobacter aerogenes, Alcaligenes sp., Bacillus sp., Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aeruginosa, Sphaerotilus sp., and Zoogloea sp. And Gram positive were only Bacillus sp. and Sarcina sp. The protozoan spectrum under microscope indicate the dominance of ciliates as compared to the flagellates, Vorticella sp., Carchesium sp.., Epistylis sp. and paramecium sp. were preset in clusters which is a indicative of efficiently working activated sludge process.

The analysis of physico-chemical and microbial characteristics of outgoing treated effluents at IDPL, Rishikesh after activated sludge process and chlorination indicated that the treated effluents have very significant improvement in quality effluent of waste by biological treatment  incoming waste of IDPL.

The treated waste water further gets diluted after mixing with high volume of river Ganges and losses its identity. The Ganges water analysed before the after the confluence point treated waste water into Ganges, has show negligible alteration in physico-chemical characteristics of Ganga main stream and thus treated effluent discharge from IDPL, Rishikesh doses not pose any physical chemical, biological or aesthetic pollution to the river Ganges.

It has been concluded that the biologic effluent treatment at antibiotics plant of IDPL involving activated sludge process and disinfection by chlorine helps to maintain the pH, BOD5, COD and that the treatment of organic loads with or without antibiotics and the fluctuation the composition, strength, volume and flow rate have made the process acclimatized mainly due to multiplicity of the species in the biogenesis of the activated sludge process.

References

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