Rainwater harvesting decoded

Aug 01, 2013, 01:05 IST | Neha LM Tripathi and Iram Siddique

Mumbai's prominent public ground Shivaji Park and a housing society in Borivli have set an example for the rest of the city by initiating rainwater harvesting in their respective areas. All it takes is a few simple steps and the willingness to preserve this irreplaceable gift of nature

Borivli’s Vintage Co-op Housing Society began harvesting rainwater in 2009 with an aim to save rainwater that otherwise goes to waste down the drains and gutters. The procedure is carried out in four simple steps. The society spent close to Rs 1,10,000 in setting up the rainwater harvesting system.

Step 1: Rainwater collected in the society’s garden area and terrace is channelled through pipes into a gravel pit. These pipes are built in such a way that the water flows into the pit directly. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Step 2: The gravel pit, which is 10 feet deep and 6x6 sq feet in area has various levels made up of charcoal and sand, that help filter bigger particles of dirt and filth, if any. Water from this pit then flows into a ring well -- the most crucial stage of the purification process.

Step 3: Once the water is collected in the ring well, which is 23 feet deep, it flows through perforated casing pipes into a bore well 215 feet deep. The casing pipe is about 8 inches long and the perforation helps the water flow into the well. The water is then stored here in the bore well

Step 4: After going through the three steps of filtration, the purified water is ready to be supplied to homes, and can be used for washing clothes, utensils and even vegetables

Shivaji Park requires about 1 lakh litre of water per day for the maintenance of the pitches used for cricket training. The water collected through the rainwater-harvesting project is also used in washrooms at nearby clubs and for other sanitary purposes.

 Step 1: Spots where water usually accumulates are equipped with outlets. The outlets have been created in the ground simply by digging up the land to allow water to pass through

Step 2: The ground’s corners, which have steep slopes, have been equipped with terrain canals. These canals help in collection of the rainwater, which earlier went down the drains

Step 3: The terrain canals are connected to a bore well. There are six such bore wells around the park at various ends

Step 4: Rainwater collected in these bore wells then undergoes a filtration process. The water thus obtained is stored in tanks and can be used for maintaining the pitches. Pics/Atul Kamble

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