Chennai

How an apartment complex keeps its ground floor dry

The hump constructed at the entrance of Anand Flats and the tubes leading to the well. Photos: Special Arrangement  

Fifteen years after he moved to Anand Flats, a 34-year-old apartment complex on Dr. Ranga Road in Mylapore, Koilraj Daniel is seeing the parking area on the ground floor inundation-free during heavy rains.

“Every monsoon, rainwater from the road would gush into our apartment complex and there would be knee-deep water, making it difficult for residents to take their vehicles out of the building,” says Koilraj.

This problem has been checked, thanks to a series of initiatives undertaken by the Association. Last year, Anand Flat Owners’ Association sought the help of The Rain Centre to better harvest the rainwater at the complex.

Through recharge pits, the rainwater that collects in the ground floor are channelised to enter an open well.

The preparation

Before the onset of the North-East monsoon, the motor was serviced and new pipes were fitted to connect rainwater to an unused well in the compound. But residents had to address an inherent design challenge. As the apartment is located near an intersection, rainwater from other roads would collect before their compound and flood the ground floor.

How an apartment complex keeps its ground floor dry

“This season’s first rain had the apartment inundated. As the sump is at the entrance, the stored Metrowater was contaminated by the inflow. So, we elevated the main hump to prevent water from entering the compound,” says R. Padmapriya, secretary of Anand Flats.

Residents saw the actual benefit of these initiatives recently when cyclone Nivar hit the city.

No water from outside flowed into the compound. Besides, the rainwater from the rooftop and other channels was directed to the well, ensuring there was no water stagnation.

The return on investment is yet not clear since they made use of the open well, but Padmapriya says the dependence on Metrowater has reduced. Currently, water from the well is supplied to all flats.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 5:18:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/how-an-apartment-complex-keeps-its-basement-dry/article33201552.ece

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