Recharge wells constructed across this colony in Chennai

The RWA has a huge reason to look forward to the NE monsoon

August 21, 2021 10:28 pm | Updated August 23, 2021 12:28 pm IST

Sixteen recharge wells have been dug across the five streets of Seethamma Extension. Photo: Special Arrangement

Sixteen recharge wells have been dug across the five streets of Seethamma Extension. Photo: Special Arrangement

The Srinivasans would welcome the north-east monsoon when it arrives, but not with an air of desperation. The open well at their house offers water at just 4.5 feet below the rim. “We just need a bucket to draw water from the well,” says Bharath Srinivasan.

Residents of Seethamma Extension Welfare Association (SEWA) in Teynampet are benefiting from a wise investment made last year — constructing 13 rainwater recharge wells on five roads (two main roads and three cross streets).

While the exercise was aimed at checking water-logging, it has brought an added benefit their way.

“Mapping the areas with water logging, we constructed rainwater harvesting pits,” says Bharath Srinivasan, Association secretary, adding that they sought Greater Chennai Corporation’s permission to undertake the work.

Seventeen to twenty feet deep, the pits are fitted with a filter and chamber. Constructed in October 2020, they are cleaned every quarter.

Once a year, before the monsoon, a deep cleaning of the wells is undertaken.

“We do not have stormwater drains in our area, and water logging, especially on KB Dasan Road, was a stubborn problem. We are glad we found a solution with the construction of recharge wells,” says R.P. Rajkumar, president, SEWA.

SEWA recently completed work on constructing three more wells, again based on observation by residents about water logging in certain streets.

Rajkumar points out that they invested ₹1.5 lakh in the project and plan to spend more to ensure rainwater that collects at road corners does not go wasted.

RWA takes cognisance of the fact that the pits need to be maintained continually, and therefore a part of the subscription amount collected from residents is salted away towards this end.

The quality of the chamber and lid is a question members try to address.

Says Bharath, “Some of them got damaged due to the movement of heavy vehicles and had to be replaced. We have ordered new chambers with better quality.”

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