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Mobile mapping for wastewater management


Mobile mapping is playing a crucial role in sewerage and wastewater management of an Indian town

For any city, the water supply and sewerage system form a vital part of its infrastructure. If the wastewater is not collected, treated and disposed correctly, it can pose a huge threat for the environment. This makes wastewater management an extremely critical issue for any municipality. In India, many small towns do not have a proper drainage system. Located around 60 km from Nagpur, the Bhandara district in Maharashtra is one such town.


Presently, there is no sewerage system in the town. The sewerage and wastewater is disposed of using different on-site sanitation methods, the most commonbeing septic tanks. The supernatant from these septic tanks is discharged in roadside gutters. This waste water is drained to nearest nallah on the south side of the town.

Larger public interest

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Bombay High Court in the larger public interest raising the grievance of the citizens residing in the areas adjoining the backwater of Gosikhurd Dam near Bhandara. The untreated sewerage from Nagpur city and municipal councils on the bank of the Wainganga river is polluting the water in the Gosikhurd Dam to a very large extent.

However, as per the government norms, the sewerage system can be allotted to the municipal areas wherein the water supply rate is not less than 135 LPCD, and as such the area didn’t qualify for the said resolution. So, the High Court ruled this as a special case, taking into consideration the fact that the effluent going in the Wainganga River is one of the major source of polluting the river and resultantly making the water non-potable, leading to health hazards.

Improving public health

So, the Bhandara Municipal Council (BMC) planned a project under Maharashtra Suvarna Jayanti Nagrotthan Mahabhiyan to bring significant improvement in service delivery and improve public health. The project aims at collection of the domestic sewage by laying lateral and trunk mains in the town; transportation of the collected sewage to the sewerage pump house and finally to the sewage treatment plant in the town; and treatment to the sewage at sewage treatment plant (STP).

Bhandara sewer districts

For this, GIS and engineering solutions provider ADCC Infocad was brought onboard for modeling the sewer network using international-standard sewer modeling software. This software was to be used for preparation of landbase and database linking and analysis of the survey data, population density and preparation of the maps in the presentation format.

The proposed scheme mandated that the existing open drainages will be used for the storm water. But, since the municipal council did not possess any data of these drains, it was necessary to map them.

However, the project duration of six months included the monsoon season. Traditional mapping, using paper maps, would delay the initiation of the project. Another challenge was the topography of the town.

Mobile mapping comes to rescue

To overcome these challenges, ADCC used a mobile mapping application called ESRI Collector app for this. This app can be used on smartphone and tablet to collect information in the field, whether connected or disconnected. Apart from data, it can also capture position, pictures and spatial data. App features enable direct integration of the data by syncing with central facility at Nagpur through the GPRS network which considerably reduced the time and efforts required for the integration.

For the preparation of the estimates for excavation of conduits and manholes road surface is required. The municipality also lacked with the updated data of road type. To overcome this problem, ADCC added one more feature in the app wherein a user could attach the road surface type to the road centerline, enabling easy calculation.

Today, over 70% of the project is already complete. The mapping activity along with the integration part has also been successfully carried out. The sewer modeling part of the project has also been done. The process of estimate and DPR preparation is underway, which will be followed by the approval from government.