So Much Dye!

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So I’ve been placed at a medium-sized textile dyer because there is space and no language barrier.  Their wastewater is treated to allowable effluent limits.  Although I have tried my project’s technology on their wastewater, it is not much needed.  Since this is the case, they are helping me replicate the wastewater that cottage-scale textile dyers in rural areas dump.

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Cleaning Sand

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There are 2 types of sand available– the one on the left is River Sand, and the right is Ocean Beach Sand.  I bought the ocean sand at a construction materials market called Bamboo Market (because they use bamboo as scaffolding).  I made 2 sand filters so we decided to keep them separate.

Discussing Project Plans

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Swan Silk Limited has agreed to let me take up space for 2 weeks and I am discussing with their Dye Manager, Prakash Mangalagatti, who has a degree in textile dyeing.  He’s an expert and curious about my project.  His director is interested in keeping ground water clean for future generations.  I am so grateful for their assistance!

At KR Market

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Alana Soehartono took these pictures while at KR Market finding what we needed to build a shallow rusty box to act as the iron catalyst to make the dye removal treatment process work. KR Market sells just about everything under the sun– so we had to find the METAL section and once we did that the excitement started.  You can imagine that a metal market is very industrial and has rarely, if ever, seen 2 outsiders who come looking for a big rusty piece of sheet metal to be made into a shallow box — and needs to be done that day!  But I knew we could do it– it’s India, anything possible.  We found the piece of metal for a reasonable price and we could tell they weren’t raising the price because we are outsiders.  Then I asked about folding it into a box with rivets.  They told us where to go.  The man behind me in this photo quoted me a very high price to make it by the next day.  I kept trying to bargain with him so we both could be happy.  When I told him we would bring our own metal (price stayed the same) he said ok and we never went back.  We went to get our metal and I told them that he was quoting a very large price for rivets– they said ‘Come, come’ and took us a couple alleys down.  The next man agreed to work on our project for an extremely fair price and to help us find a gas welder for a dollar rather than rivets that may leak.  We just had to wait until after lunch but it would be done today– ‘Chai?’  We agreed and had a seat.  Once the box was complete another man came to put it on the top of his auto rickshaw and carry it to our hostel.  I think I can’t even surprise the hostel managers anymore– they’ve seen me bring in large rain barrels, bags of sand, rusty boxes, dye, tools, etc.  A smile goes a long way.