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Pollution reduction at M/s Penta Latex through improvements in ETP Plant operations

                                         Pic: Aeration tank at M/s Penta Latex in IIE Haridwar

Summary of the success 

M/s Penta Latex is a producer of consumer goods within the Integrated Industrial Estate (IIE) of the State Infrastructure and Industrial Development Corporation of Uttarakhand Ltd. (SIIDCUL) in Haridwar. M/s Penta Latex was recently able to further reduce the pollution levels of wastewater generated and simultaneously saved cost, improved plant operation efficiency and create a healthier environment for their workers.

Assigned by GIZ, the German consultancy GOPA Infra visited the plant in summer 2017, and after auditing Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) operations; suggested measures for improvement and upgradation. With support from GOPA Infra and GIZ, M/s Penta Latex was enabled to successfully implement initial measures. Besides direct tangible environmental and economic benefits, the measures also created awareness and eagerness to invest in new technologies for better wastewater treatment.

About the problem

The River Ganga provides a livelihood to more than 500 million people. It is the source of drinking water and many economic and agricultural activities. The river and its surroundings form habitat for many plant and animal species. Last but not the least, is Ganga’s tremendous cultural and religious significance. Despite numerous rejuvenation efforts over the past 30 years, environmental pressure on Ganga has only increased.

As stated on the homepage of SIIDCUL, IIE Haridwar is an industrial estate located in the catchment area of River Ganga spreading over an area of 2,038 acres. It comprises of 15 sectors of which 12 are occupied by more than 550 industrial units, mainly pharma, electrical and electronics, packaging, food production, metal processing, plastic and rubber moulding, and cosmetics. In total, there are 473 operational units in the estate generating industrial and domestic wastewater. The effluent streams are collected and treated at the industrial estate’s Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

GIZ assisted in removing difficulties faced by industries in meeting the inlet norms of the CETP by improving the operations of ETPs so that all the pollutant parameters and the wastewater volume discharged are well within the permissible limits. 

Actions initiated

To steadily improve the situation, IIE Haridwar was included as a project site under the “Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production (SEIP)” and “Support to Ganga Rejuvenation” (SGR) projects within the Indo-German Development Cooperation. In cooperation with SIIDCUL, a public agency owning the industrial estate, both projects are being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to find solutions to improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants and reduce pollution.

The SEIP Project is aiming at mitigating environmental problems caused by industrial production focusing on industrial wastewater and solid waste management. Since the project’s initiation in 2015, technical solutions as well as business and management models to reduce acute environmental pollution and to improve resource efficiency in industrial production are being piloted in five Indian industrial estates. One of the aims of the SGR project, being implemented since 2015 in the state of Uttarakhand, is to demonstrate that the pollution caused by municipal wastewater and industrial effluents can be reduced by efficient management of wastewater and functionality of treatment plants.

A German consultancy GOPA Infra was hired by aforementioned SGR project to assess the ETPs installed in 16 industries. In July 2017, national and international experts from GOPA Infra visited the 16 industries as well as the CETP in IIE Haridwar to collect data and samples in order to do preliminary assessments. Nine industries with ETPs were chosen to undergo a detailed assessment for improvements. Regulatory pressure, economic motivations combined with the desire to remain responsible and sustainable industries acted as drivers for the companies to invite the consultants to undertake the assessments and to subsequently implement the solutions.

Whilst the detailed assessments are still ongoing, some suggestions for improvements were provided to M/s Penta Latex based on the preliminary assessments during initial site visits.

ETP improvement

M/s Penta Latex’s operations' span over 15,000m² and the industry employs over 200 people. The annual revenue of M/s Penta Latex amounts to 70 crore INR. 

The industry struggled to keep their chemical oxygen demand (COD) levels within the prescribed inlet norms of the CETP  it is connected to. This despite the fact that an ETP treats the generated wastewater directly at the plant’s premises. Further, it also led to bad odour in and around the factory building.

                            Pic: Effluent collection tank of ETP at M/s Penta Latex in IIE Haridwar

The measures implemented based on the suggestions by the consultants led to substantial improvements in the working conditions of employees as the bad odour emanating from the ETP could be completely removed. Further, the industry will be able to realise cost savings since this investment considerably lowered the business continuity risks and penalties likely to be levied by the CETP on the industry. Last but not least, there are substantial environmental benefits from the reduction of COD in the wastewater and the better utilization of the existing ETP.

                             Pic: Carbon and sand filters of the ETP of M/s Penta Latex in IIE Haridwar

Problems identified




Inefficacy in the polishing treatment of the ETP (battery of pressure sand filter (PSF) and activated carbon filter (ACF))

Removal of all defunct media from PSF and ACF

Systematic and specified media charging of PSF and ACF

95,000 INR one-time costs +

8,000-10,000 INR monthly media top-up costs

No more bad smell in the factory premise

Inefficacy in the primary treatment of the ETP: operator was not able to remove latex material which was sticking to the PSF and ACF spoiling the function of the filters.

Use of polyelectrolyte (PE) for better coagulation in primary treatment

30,000 INR per month for use of PE

Compliance with CETP inlet norms

75% reduction of COD level

Total costs:

 95,000 INR + 40,000 INR monthly cost

Total savings:

~225,000 INR

Estimated payback period:

 1-6 months



Economic benefits

Occupational health benefits

Reduction of COD by 75%

Annual cost saving of          ~225,000 INR

Removal of bad smell

                                                     Pic: Sludge bed at Penta Latex in IIE Haridwar

The success – The benefits

In total, the implemented measures led to an annual cost savings of around 225,000 INR and decreased COD levels of pollution. Another advantage wad of improved working conditions due to decreased odour. The interventions were low cost measures of operational or technical nature.

Before the intervention, there was a general lack of knowledge and awareness regarding wastewater treatment, its economic and environmental benefits, as well as technologies available. Whilst many companies were apprehensive to implement the measures, the readiness for change towards sustainable ways as well as the openness and trust in new technologies has substantially increased within M/s Penta Latex. 

As a matter of fact, the interventions have increased the industry’s awareness regarding the importance of proper ETP operation. The industry is now eager to improve the performance of their plant further: Next steps, such as conducting a water audit, exploring water conservation and recycling opportunities, as well as the further improvement of the sludge filtration process, and an overall upgradation of the ETP are planned. M/s Penta Latex would like to share their experiences with other companies to promote the improvement of ETP efficiency and performance.