Defence Research Laboratory (DRL), Tezpur (Assam), a premier Laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has now come up with an upgraded version (Mark-II) of the “Iron removal Unit” (IRU) from water.
The prototype of IRU Mark-II has just been launched by Dr. W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R&D)(LS&HR) and Distinguished Scientist, DRDO HQrs., New Delhi.
The Director of DRL, Dr. R.B. Srivastava, speaking to FIDSNS said “the Mark-II of IRU will be handed over to the HQrs, 4 Corps of Indian Army shortly for full-fledged field trials.”
High Iron content is a major problem in drinking water of North Eastern India. Its consumption leads to detrimental effects of different proportions on human health over a period of time. High Iron content in drinking water has become an acute problem in water works of this area. Technologies are available to provide iron-free drinking water through large-scale water works in Cities and Townships. A few such technologies are also available to cater to the needs of small communities of populace in rural areas. However, the methods followed in rural areas have limitations such as installation & maintenance costs etc.
DRL had successfully designed and developed IRU Mk I to provide clean drinking water for Army Barracks & small communities as well in rural & remote areas. The IRU is cylindrical in shape, 1.75 mtrs. in height & 1 mtr. in dia., weighing 490 Kgs.(Approx). It is made up of mild steel with four chambers and sludge/backwash outlet valves. An aeration system and double filtration bed have been provided in the Unit for its efficient functioning. The steps involved in removal of Iron are –
• Aeration / Gas transfer.
• pH adjustment.
• Oxidation of ferrous into ferric iron.
• Sedimentation of Iron precipitates.
• Double filtration for precipitates.
• Sludge removal from bottom chamber.
The IRU is designed to bring down the Iron content of ferruginous water to WHO Standard (< 0.3ppm) from water having dissolved Iron up to 40 mg/ltr.
The Unit provides 300 liters of clean water per hour. It is easy for installation and suitable to cater to the needs of Army Barracks & small size population residing in remote areas where access to treated drinking water does not exist.
Some of the important advantages of IRU are -
• Adequate aeration.
• Removal of major portion of Iron in the Sedimentation Chamber.
• Filter bed cracking is prevented and clogging delayed.
• Double filtration ensures better Iron removal.
• Proper backwashing.
• Easy operation and maintenance.
Director, DRL, Tezpur told FIDSNS that “about 250 Nos. of Iron Removal Units (Mk1) have already been supplied to the Services and to other Civil Agencies such as PHED of Govt. of Assam etc., on demand. All the Units are functioning successfully with satisfactory results. He further added that this breakthrough technology received a widespread applaud both from the Indian armed forces and Civil Agencies as well.”
Director, DRL further reiterated that “DRL, Tezpur is leaving no stone unturned in its relentless efforts for the cause of promoting health and hygiene of the troops in general and rural masses of North–East in particular by providing iron-free drinking water in forward & remote areas where ferruginous water is an acute problem.”