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Effluent standards for Sewage Treatment Plants


Introduction: Sewage Treatment Plants

Urban water supply and sanitation are important basic needs for the improvement of the quality of life and enhancement of the productive efficiency of the people. In urban areas, water is tapped for domestic and industrial uses from rivers, streams, wells, and lakes. Almost 80% of the water supplied for domestic use, comes out as wastewater. In most cases, wastewater is let out untreated and it either sinks into the ground as a potential pollutant of groundwater or is discharged into the natural drainage system causing pollution in downstream areas. Wastewater needs to be conveyed to sewage treatment plants and treated wastewater must meet the aesthetic standards of the ambient environment for receiving water bodies.


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Sewage Treatment plants are used to treat sewage generated from residential, institutional, commercial and industrial establishments which includes household waste liquid from toilets, baths, showers, kitchens, sinks and so forth that is disposed of via sewers. In India, different treatment technologies like ASP, UASB, and Oxidation ponds and advanced technologies like SBR, MBR are adopted for the treatment of sewage. Central Pollution Control Board carried out a study on the status of Municipal wastewater generation and treatment capacity in Metropolitan cities, Class I cities and Class II towns of India and published a document (CUPS/61/2005-06). The sewage generation is about 38254 MLD whereas the treatment capacity developed is only about 12000 MLD and 269 numbers of STPs are installed in India. The growth of Urbanization in India is at a rapid rate.

Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 define the effluent standard for Sewage Treatment Plants, which are as follow;





Effluent discharge standards (applicable to all mode of disposal)



Sewage Treatment Plants




Concentration not to exceed







Anywhere in the country



Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)

Metro cities*, all state capitals except in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland

Tripura, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand< Jammu and Kashmir, and the Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar island, Dadar and Nagar Haveli Daman Diu and Lakshadweep




Areas/regions other than those mentioned above



Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

Metro Cities*, all state Capitals Except in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar island, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep



Areas/regions other than those mentioned above



Fecal Coliform(FC) ( Most probable Number per 100 milliliter, MPN/100ml

Anywhere in the country


Metro Cities are Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune

For more information about Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) Click here Delhi Pollution Control Committee

For more information about State Pollution Board Click here State Pollution Board      


  • All values in mg/1 except for pH and fecal coliform.
  • These standards shall be applicable for discharge into water bodies as well as for land disposal/application
  • The standards for fecal coliform shall not apply in respect of the use of treated effluent for industrial purposes
  • These Standards shall apply to all Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) to be commissioned on or after the 1st June, 2019 and the old/existing Sewage Treatment Plants(STPs)  shall achieve these standards within a period of five years from the date of publication of this notification in the official Gazette
  • In case of discharge of treated effluent into the sea, it shall be through proper marine outfall and the existing shore discharge shall be converted to marine outfalls, and in cases where the marine outfall provides a minimum initial dilution of 150 times at the point of discharge and a minimum dilution of 1500 times at a point 100 meters away from discharge point, then the existing norms shall apply as specified in the general discharge standards
  • Rescue /Recycling of treated effluent shall be encouraged and in cases where part of the treated effluent is rescued and recycled involving the possibility of human contact, standards, as specified, shall apply.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)/State Pollution Control Board (SPCB)/Pollution Control Committees may issue more stringent norms taking account of the local condition under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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