A smart water-recycling system for kitchen sinks designed by science and engineering students of GITAM (Deemed to be University) to ease water crisis in Indian cities, has won the grand finale of Smart India Hackathon, Hardware Edition at the nodal center B.S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu. The team, which worked on the Project Hydrogravitricity, was declared winners in their problem statement category among five other teams competing from different parts of India.
The students from GITAM (Deemed to be University) were working on a problem statement in area of Water Harvesting, given by the Department of Science and Technology. They took home the prize money of Rs 1 Lakh for their innovation.
Students from the team are pursuing a B.Tech course at GITAM’s Visakhapatnam campus, including Anik Panja, Prithvi Tripathy, Jeswin GN and Shivani Narsina.
The Hydro Gravitricity project is being incubated at the Venture Development Centre of GITAM (Deemed to be University). The team was mentored by GITAM VDC Coaches Vikas Kumar Srivastav and Bollem Raja Kumar.
The students designed an eco-friendly and smart grey-water filtration system called Hydrogravitricity, which is capable of catalyzing biogas. It recycles the dark grey water coming out of kitchen sinks after dishwashing.
The team’s coach Vikas Kumar Srivastav said, “Faced with Chennai’s water crisis, the students decided to throw the kitchen sink at the problem. As part of the core technical team in the IEEE student branch of GITAM in 2019, they were required to make a group project innovatively related to water conservation. Coincidentally, the water crisis in Chennai was at its peak, with an extreme shortage of water for daily use. That became the key catalyzing event for the team to embark on the project of recycling water draining out of kitchen sinks after dishwashing. It took the students 2.5 years to take the concept to the prototype stage through multiple designs and iterations.”
The team’s coach Bollem Raja Kumar said, “The students have designed a self-maintaining, smart, and retrofittable rainwater and greywater filtration system. It has multiple stages fitted with filters and sedimentation tanks, with a grease trap. Sand and charcoal filters thoroughly clean the water. Built-in sensors provide real-time data on water quality and parameters such as pH, turbidity, TDS, and water volume. The filtered water can be used for irrigation, cleaning and flushing toilets. Individually the science behind every stage exists in the real world in bits and pieces. The students integrated all these systems and engineered them to fit into a limited space.”
Student Anik Panja, one of the team leaders says, “An average household is estimated to generate about 356 litres of grey water daily. This is a huge amount if multiplied by thousands of restaurants and millions of households in a city. This water currently drains into sewers. Recycling it can go a long way in meeting chronic water shortages. We built a plug-and-play greywater recycling system that can be retrofitted into existing kitchen pipes. We have integrated several sensors in the system, allowing it to adjust the self-maintenance cycle and generate a live report for the user to monitor the water usage and output quality.”
Prithvi Tripathy, another student, added: “We have been allocated funds and space by GITAM to build and test our prototype, giving us the ability to fine-tune the product faster. This will be our pilot project.”
The team previously stood as one of the winners of AIM-ICDK Water Innovation Challenge 2.0 and will represent India at the International Water Congress to be held in Denmark this month. They also bagged the first prize at the annual techno-cultural festival of IIT Tirupati.