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Dombivli man creates system to recycle water at home

Ravindra Joshi, a retired mechanical engineer, has set up a system in his house that can help reprocess used water for almost all purposes except cooking and drinking

Necessity is the mother of all invention. And a Dombivli resident has proven the adage true by coming up with a water recycling system in his own home.

Ravindra Joshi shows his kitchen sink that has a partition and points to the part from where water is collected, filtered, purified and reused. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar
Ravindra Joshi shows his kitchen sink that has a partition and points to the part from where water is collected, filtered, purified and reused. Pics/Shrikant Khuperkar

With municipal corporations enforcing water cuts this summer yet again, Ravindra Joshi, a retired mechanical engineer, has devised a unique technique with which he reuses used water from his house for most purposes except for cooking and drinking.

A tank beneath the washing machine collects water from the drain pipe, after the first lot of dirty water is drained out
A tank beneath the washing machine collects water from the drain pipe, after the first lot of dirty water is drained out

Re-route, filter, reuse
Joshi’s basic aim is to use clean tap water for cooking and drinking only. Water for all other purposes can be stored in an overhead tank. Joshi’s trick employs a minor plumbing job that redirects used water, which would have otherwise been drained out, to this tank.

Joshi, who knows Dombivli suffers from water shortage, gauged that the water labelled as ‘dirty’ isn’t as dirty as it seemed. Joshi has divided his sink into two parts — one where water is used to scrub off food, oil from dishes, and the second, where the detergent is washed off from the plates.

“We do not recycle water which is used to scrub off the dirt from utensils. But when we wash utensils, we do it in the second part, and this water is filtered and collected in a water tank,” explains Joshi, who uses calculated amounts of chlorine liquid or tablets to purify the collected water.

The same goes for the washing machine — there is a 40-litre tank underneath his fully automatic washing machine. When water drains out the first time, it is too dirty to be recycled. But, Joshi then puts the drain-out pipe into the tank during the second wash, and stores it there. “A motor pulls this to an overhead tank, where it is duly filtered with suitable tablets,” adds Joshi.

This system, which the Joshis have been using since 2010, helps save almost 80 per cent of water used every day, claims the engineer. Joshi earned a mention in the Limca Book of Records in the year 2012 for his system. He also helps other big societies install this system in their homes as well.

How it works
>> The kitchen sink is divided into two with a concrete separator. A plumbing pipe connects to the partition where the second wash of utensils is done

>> This duly filters the water and connects to a second pipe that goes between the tiles and further stores in water tank above, where tablets or liquid solution is used to clean and purify the water

>> The overhead tank is of 450 litres, and the tank beneath the washing machine is of 35-40 litres

>> The total cost of the system, including pipes, tanks and the motors to collect water, would be nearly Rs 18,000.

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