In this article, an overview is given of the proposed and actual activities that are undertaken to reduce the pollution from the approximately 180 tanneries in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. As a part of an action plan to reduce the pollution of the river Ganga, this project includes in-house measures to reduce the output of chromium by the tanneries, and pre-treatment at the tanneries to reduce the solids content of the wastewater and to facilitate maintenance of the sewer system. A treatment plant consisting of two Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Bed (UASB) reactors, followed by a post-treatment facility, reduces the wastewater pollution by approximately 80% of BOD, COD, and TSS. However, sulphide output is still high, owing to the high sulphate concentrations in the wastewater. The sludge produced during the operations is projected to be used as a fertilizer.

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