Chennai Metrowater will launch a survey of rainwater harvesting structures in buildings across the city this month to check their maintenance.

Officials of the Metrowater said the survey would cover nearly one lakh multi-storeyed buildings and 20 per cent of the three lakh other buildings. The focus would be more on the multi-storied buildings from where major share of sewage-related complaints are registered during monsoon.

On an average, the city would receive 10 to 15 mm daily during monsoon. Of this, nearly 30 per cent of the rainfall can be recharged if the RWH structures are maintained properly.

If the structures are found to be poorly maintained, the team of officials would insist on the owners of the buildings maintaining the structures.

On the benefits of regular maintenance of such structures, an official said the average ground water level, which was below 4.2 metre during June last year, has increased to 3 to 3.5 metre this June. This study was conducted in 759 RWH observatory wells identified in the city.

Considerable showers this year have also made the difference. Chennai experienced a rainfall of 106 mm this June compared to 7 mm during the corresponding period last year.

The water agency would also join hands with non-governmental organisations, including the Rain Centre, to create awareness about methods of setting up RWH structures and maintenance. Besides conducting programmes in area offices, officials would also visit localities on request from the residents' welfare associations.

As part of its outreach programme, the water agency plans to cover a minimum of 50 schools and colleges to make presentations on RWH, an official.

“We also plan to write to the 56 government departments in the city to remind about RWH maintenance,” said the official.

For the first time, distribution of nearly 25,000 ‘no parking' boards, with diagrams on RWH maintenance to residential localities has been planned. The water agency would also issue stickers on RWH to be used in vehicles, particularly those belonging to government agencies.

The awareness materials would have diagrams depicting methods to clean the structures such as pipes connecting rooftop water and surface run-off to RWH structures must be checked for blocks. Residents may contact Metrowater officials on 28454080 for guidance on maintaining RWH system.

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