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Municipality in TN’s Thoothukudi uses treated wastewater to grow free fodder for cattle

Representational image. Tamil Nadu's Tiruchendur municipality is using treated wastewater to grow fodder to be distributed free to farmers

The Tiruchendur municipality which is located in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district has come up with an innovative way to use the treated wastewater of its sewage plant. Instead of letting it go waste in the storm water drains, the water will now be used to irrigate crops.

In a collaborative effort involving the departments concerned with agriculture engineering, animal husbandry and Aavin (milk producers federation), the treated wastewater will be used for growing crops at the compost yard of the municipality.

The compost yard of the municipality is spread across 84 acres of land on the outskirts of the city, of which on 15 acres machinery for composting, segregation and manure have been installed. In the remaining area Seemai Karuvelam trees are grown.  At Thoppur, the civic body has an STP with a capacity to treat 4.2 million litres a day of wastewater. Currently, 2.1 MLD water is treated every day and instead of discharging it into drains, it will be pumped to the compost yard located 4.5 km away from the plant and used as water to raise fodder crops on 10 acres in the yard.

The agriculture engineering department has cleared the trees in 10 acres and installed drip irrigation facilities, while the animal husbandry department has selected fodder varieties which are consumed by goat and milch cows to be grown there.  The Aavin department, meanwhile, has been tasked with the responsibility of identifying cattle farmers requiring fodder.

The area where this fodder will be grown will be maintained by the municipality.

The project envisages free distribution of fodder to eligible cattle farmers while at the same time reducing the problem suffered by the public due to treated wastewater being discharged in tanks. The project was launched by Kanimozhi, Thoothukudi’s MP at the Tiruchendur compost yard.