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Apartment in Alwarpet turns to recharge wells to get rainwater-rich

July 30, 2022 11:03 pm | Updated 11:03 pm IST

Representational image

Representational image

As apartments go, Aashiana Apartment at Venus Colony is a Baby Boomer. Carved out of a space that went by the name ‘Venus Studios’ many summers ago, the community has a sizeable population of seniors, a fact that came into wider light in the early part of the pandemic when apartment-based residents’ associations were scrambling around to have vaccination camps organised for their elderly, at their own turf. For a community that has a few decades on it now, this one is impressively sprightly, staying in step with present trends.

A glowing example is how it has chosen to manage the rainwater that splashes on it.

“When the colony was built, rainwater accumulation structures had been created. Besides, constructing new recharge wells, we converted a few existing recharge structures — actually, recharge bores — into recharge wells,” says Bhuvana Panchanath, secretary of Aashiana Flat Owners Association (AFOA).

Bhuvana notes that the project on recharge wells ran through 2020-21, and was helmed by Anita Hegde (vice-president, AFOA, 2020-21) and Mano Vijaykumar (Jt. Secretary, AFOA, 2020-21).

For the sake of knowledge transfer, the community Report on Work on Aashiana ‘s Rain Water Harvesting System – 2021

The report prepared by Anita and Mano notes that it all began in October 2020, when the Association approached Sekhar Raghavan of Akash Ganga Trust – Rain Centre, Chennai, seeking that he inspect the old RWH system and weigh in with his views about its future.

Raghavan had reportedly asked them to keep an eye on the RWH structures when the skies open up, and see if it any of them was doing the opposite of what it was intended to do: that is, “throwing up rainwater instead of collecting and absorbing it”.

A majority of the structures were found to be “throwing up water”.

It was decided recharge wells should be sunk.

The ideal scenario was pictured: “One recharge well per ground”.

Space being a limiting factor, reaching that ideal number, whatever that was, would be a pipe dream.

In the first phase of the project, five recharge wells were built against Raghavan’s recommendations of seven, the report explains.

Of the five, three were brand-new recharge wells, and two were recharge wells made out of existing rainwater structures.

That seemed to have set the leitmotif for the project.

The report explains that Raghavan ensured wasted rainwater run-offs at Aashiana would saved, by taking a simple corrective measure. The report says in some cases, rainwater runoffs flowing down via roof pipes was running into the sewers, these roof pipes being “located close to the gullies”.

The report continues: “The walls of these gullies were raised to prevent this. The key is not to let rain water flow into the sewage system.”

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