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Water management

Wastewater management

Wastewater treatment

Greywater management at community level

2. December 2022

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

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Greywater refers to wastewater from non-toilet systems, such as wastewater from kitchen sinks, baths, showers, washing machines, etc. The United Nations Office for project Services, (UNOPS) is providing strategic technical support to the government of India for Hon’ble Prime Minister’s national flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). JJM aims to provide functional household tap connections (FHTCs) to all the rural households in India by 2024.

In the current project, in villages like other rural areas in the country, greywater is often discharged into the surrounding areas posing environmental and public health risks. 31 billion litres of greywater are generated every day in India.

Mapping exercises in area of work carried out at the start of the project showed that less than 1% of the households had soak pits, structures to efficiently dispose greywater.


UNOPS provides infrastructure, procurement and project management services for a sustainable world.

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Demonstration of technologies for grey water management was proposed to be demonstrated. A leach pit is a brick lined or reinforced cement concrete structure which can deal with higher incoming flows of wastewater. It was decided to construct community leach pits which have two components; the silt chamber where the water from household is collected and the actual leach pit where the water comes in after crossing the silt chamber through nahni trap ensuring it leaves behind maximum impurities.

UNOPS constructed 101 leach pits spread across 34 villages in 10 districts (Sonbhadra, Prayagraj, Mirzapur, Lalitpur, Kaushambi, Jhansi, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot and Banda) of Uttar Pradesh.


Approximately 576 households have benefitted from the community leach pits. The number of households connected to each leach pit varied between 3 – 10 households per leach pit.

Purpose of the community leach pit was to ensure efficient disposal of greywater and contribute to groundwater recharge.

The community were enthusiastic regarding leach peats and approximate in 73% of the leach pits, funds leveraged were through community contribution. This also inspired community ownership for the structure and increased climate resiliency.