The Department of public Health Engineering was established in the year 1955, with the assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO). It was upgraded into the Centre for Environmental Studies (CES) in 1982. The Centre has a rich tradition of teaching, continuing education, research, consultancy and extension programmes. Infrastructure facilities available at the Centre include an advanced Research Laboratory, Analytical Laboratories, Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Unit Operations and Processes Engineering Laboratory, Waste Processing Technology Demonstration Plant, Tool Room, Computing Facility and Environmental Information Centre. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, the Centre has a 125 KVA Generator. The Centre also has a Metro LOG TDL14 Data Logger which is a complete measurement system to detect and store meteorological data. All the laboratories in the Centre have been upgraded to International Standards under an Indo-German Project (1996 – 2001).
The Research Laboratory with an area of 120 sq.m. houses the state of the art equipment and reactors. It has 6 worktables and the laboratory is designed to accommodate about 15 researchers. At present, the laboratory houses the following equipment: Sophisticated Bioreactors, Anaerobic Glove – box, Lyophilizer, Refrigerated Centrifuge, Autoclave, Ovens, Electrophoresis Unit and other routine instruments used for research work.
Analytical Laboratories have been modernized to international standards for housing the state of the art equipment and for training the technical personnel in operation and maintenance of water and wastewater treatment plants. The laboratories with an area of 280 sq.m. and an Instrumentation Laboratory with an area of 140 sq.m. The Instrumentation Laboratory houses sophisticated instruments for analysis of water, wastewater, air and soil for physical and chemical parameters including heavy metals. Major instruments available are: Hydroid Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (F-AAS), Graphite Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (G-AAS), BOD analyzer, Mercury analyzer, Flame photometer, TOC analysers, SO2 and NOx analysers, Gas Chromatography, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Ion Chromatography, Spectroflurometer, U.V. Visible Spectrophotometer, Colorimeter, Ion Meters, Ion Selective Electrodes, Field test kits, Gas Monitors, Extractable Organic Halogenes (EOX) analyzer, Absorbed Organic Halogenes (AOX) analyzer, Dissolved Oxygen (DO) meters and Precision balances. All physical/chemical and biological analysis of water and wastewater are done in the laboratories.
Environmental Microbiology Laboratory
The Environmental Microbiology Laboratory upgraded with special assistance from the University Grants Commission has been modernized under the GTZ project. This air-conditioned Laboratory has an area of 450 sq.m. and is well equipped for analysis of water, sewage, industrial wastes, soil and air samples for microbiological components and for conducting research at Postgraduate levels and Doctorate levels. The major equipment available in the laboratory are Phase contrast microscope, Stereo microscope, Scanning microscope, Projection microscope, Refrigerated centrifuge, Incubators, Deep freezer, Laminar flow chamber, Shaker, Constant temperature water-bath, Refrigerator, Colony counter, BOD analysers, Autoclaves, Ovens and Portable water analysis kits.
Unit Operations and Processes Engineering Laboratory
The Unit Operations and Processes Engineering Laboratory has been modernized for housing the state of the art equipment and reactors. The laboratory with an area of 180 sq.m. has 12 movable and 6 fixed work tables and will enable 20 students/researchers to conduct experiments. A unique feature of the laboratory is the provision of overhead water supply, electricity and air supply. The laboratory houses field sampling equipment and major equipment such as Photochemical Reactors, Bioreactors, Air Compressor, Stirrers, Peristaltic Pumps, Filter Press, Demineralization Plant, Softening Plant, Reverse Osmosis Unit, Sonicator, Ozonator, High Pressure Jet Impinger, High Speed Centrifuge, Sieve Shaker, Autoclave, Distillation Unit, Model Skimmer, Rotary Vacuum Evaporator and Bench Scale Treatment Plant models.
Waste Processing Technology Demonstration Park
The Waste Processing Technology Demonstration Park is located adjacent to CES, serves the objectives of treating the sanitary sewage of Anna University campus, acting as an eco-technology park and as a field research plant for CES and as a training centre for the operators of Sewage Treatment Plants. The facilities at this plant include, sewage collection and pumping stations, screens and grit separators, Oxidation Ditch Treatment System, Root Zone Treatment system, Stabilization ponds, Fish ponds, Activated Sludge Treatment Plant, Aerated lagoon, Bio composter and Sludge Treatment units. The treated wastewater is recycled for campus gardening. The food waste from the campus are composted and used for horticulture activities.
A unique facility of the Centre created under the Indo – German Project is the tool room to carry out internal servicing of all the instruments and equipment of the various laboratories to minimize the down time. It has an area of 40 sq.m. the tool room houses 4 work tables for electrical, electronic, fine machines and turning/drilling. A Micro Lathe, High Precision Bench Drilling Machine, Grinding Machine, High Speed Cutter, Hand Drilling Machines, Electric Saw for mechanical works, Dual Beam Oscilloscope, Auto Transformer, Function Generator and a temperature controlled Soldering Station are available here.
The upgraded computing facility consists of fifteen workstations equipped with Intel. Pentium III Processors and a server to which the fifteen-workstations are connected via 16-port HUB to form a NETWORK. A A0 size digitizer is also available. A direct glass fibre cable connection to link the Centre with internet is also available.
Environmental Information Centre
The Environmental Information Centre with an area of 100 sq.m. incorporates the centre’s library and the Environmental Information System Library. There are about 4000 books/publications in the areas of Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Chemistry, Water Treatment, Air Pollution Control, Ecology, Environmental Toxicology, Hazardous Waste Management, Sewerage and Sewage Treatment, Industrial Waste Water Treatment and Solid Waste Management, Mathematics and Computers and a collection of Videos on Environmental Engineering and Sciences. The Library regularly subscribes to about 15 journals.
The fully air-conditioned Muthian Auditorium of the Centre has all modern facilities such as the state of the art projection units and recording units for conducting international meeting. The Auditorium can accommodate 125 persons.
A modern Conference room built for conducting refresher courses, workshops and group discussions is an asset to the Centre. This air conditioned room has an area of 70 sq.m. and can accommodate about 35 individuals. The facilities available here include Overhead Projector, Multimedia Projector, Flip chart, Poster frames, Magnetic writing board, etc. A unique feature of the conference room is the special light arrangements to ensure pleasing and effective work environment.