Minister for Municipal Administration S.P.Velumani on Tuesday took everyone by surprise by drinking a glass of treated sewage water that came from the newly inaugurated tertiary treatment reverse osmosis (TTRO) plant in Kodungaiyur.
In a tweet he said: "Water is precious and when you realise that, respect every drop that comes naturally. Proud to drink the treated water from India's first Tertiary Treatment Plant (TTRO) in Chennai. The 45 MLD (million litres per day) plant was inaugurated by Honourable Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami!"
Velumani reportedly asked for the water and drank it even as the Chief Minister was listening to an explanation from authorities about how the water was now potable. CM Edappadi Palaniswami said, according to News18, that the treated water from the plant will be supplied to industries and power plants in north Chennai.
A similar treatment plant is also reportedly under construction at Koyambedu.
The Rs 348 crore, 45 MLD TTRO plant will supply treated wastewater to the industrial units. Till now these industrial units were supplied with 40 MLD desalinated water.
With the inauguration of the TTRO plant, the desalinated water will also be available to citizens for drinking purposes.
According to an official, the treated water is fit for drinking as it has a total dissolved solids (TDS) level of 70 while the normal drinking water has a TDS of about 250.
ToI reports that with the addition of this plant, industrial units at Manali, Ennore and Minjur will get upto 50 MLD of water. This in turn will reportedly reduce the pressure on the city's other drinking water sources such as the Redhills resrvoir and the Minjur desalination plant.
Chennai currently generates about 550 MLD of sewage per day and with the news plant in place, it could become the first city to reportedly reuse and recycle 20% of sewage generated in a day.
(With IANS inputs)