What is Self Sustaining Hydroponics?
With more and more emphasis on Sustainable Water Management it is essential that wastage of water, especially potable or fresh water is minimized. Over the past few years, concepts like Wastewater management or Greywater management have gained huge attention and acceptance. As more and more people are opting for energy efficient solutions, it has created the scope and demand for new ideas like sewage treatment landscapes, wastewater treatment wetlands etc. Today however, we focus on one such idea i.e. Hydroponics.
What is Hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a latin origin word which means working water. It is a process of growing plants in mediums apart from soil but with added nutrients, such mediums could be sand, liquid or even gravel. Hydroponics is based on the main principle of increasing oxygen to the root zone and liquid feed delivered directly to roots. Under the same conditions, a hydroponic plant grows 30-50% faster than a soil plant.
Why Hydroponics plantations over soil gardening?
Unlike plants grown in traditional soil garden, hydroponic plants do not need too much space to grow and hence more number of hydroponic plants can be grown in the same amount of area. This is because the nutrients are delivered to the roots instead of having the roots stretch out in search of the nutrients. This creates much higher oxygen levels in the root zone as compared to a soil garden. The increased oxygen results in an increased nutrient uptake and much higher rates of growth. The nutrient levels are much easier to control in a hydroponic garden compared to soil garden.
What is the role of Hydroponic gardening in a Wastewater Management System?
As we know that treated greywater is rich in nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus which are essential for vegetation growth, opting for hydroponic gardening would utilise the greywater to its best potential, thus bringing down not only the costs pertaining to gardening but also the freshwater demand for soil gardening.
How is Wastewater Treatment used for Hydroponics?
1 Wastewater from the kitchen is collected in a Settler Tank.
2 From Settler Tank, it then passes through a baffled reactor where anaerobic reaction takes place. This reaction brings down the BOD level from 350 to 50 approximately.
3 After anaerobic treatment, the water is pumped up in an overhead storage tank.
4 From Overhead storage tank water would flow by gravity to the hydroponic plantations.
5 Hydroponics would remove the nitrates and potash present in the water, at the same time helping the plants to grow.
For every wastewater treatment plant to be completely effective it is very vital to incorporate a system which re-uses the treated water. Nowadays, Hydroponics is proving to be a breakthrough concept that not only increases the growth rate in plants in a safe manner but also re-utilises the waste water.