Chennai

Ready for the rainy day

For this CMWSSB engineer, saving every drop of rainwater is a passion

S. Nellaiappan is now water self-sufficient, because he took rainwater harvesting seriously. His family relies on rainwater for drinking and cooking requirements.

Nellaiappan, a Depot Engineer (Area 10, T. Nagar) with the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board, has a well-planned rainwater conservation system at his house in Nandambakkam.

Rainwater from the terrace is channeled into a double-deck tank (3 feet wide and 2 feet deep) through a pipe. The top deck is meant to filter the rainwater, through a layer of charcoal, followed by a layer of jalli stones and the last layer consists of sand.

The job of the bottom tank is to collect the filtered water. From the bottom tank, the filtered rainwater flows through a pipe connected to a 500-litre container which in turn is inter-connected to another five 500-litre containers.

All these six containers are kept on the loft in the kitchen. A pipe from one of these containers supplies water to the tap at the kitchen sink. Through this method, he manages to save 3,000 litres of rainwater.

“Rainwater is pure as such, but it is however subjected to filtration to remove its acidity. With this water we can tide over six months to one year as we are a three-member family.

The water remains pure as the containers are air-tight and not exposed to direct sunlight. The filter tank, collection tank and the storage containers need to be cleaned once a year,” says Nellaippan.

He installed this system 15 years ago at a cost of ₹60,000. Likewise, to replenish the groundwater table, rainwater from the terrace is channeled through another pipe into the borewell.

He made this arrangement in 1994; much before the Tamil Nadu government made rainwater harvesting system mandatory in 2001.

“We get enough water from the borewell. It takes care of cleaning and washing requirements. We keep our terrace clean and tidy as it receives all the water,” says Nellaiappan.

The CMWSSB engineer says that not just independent houses, but multi-storey buildings can also have such a system.

“At apartment complexes and gated communities, the terrace area is vast and we can save a considerable amount of rainwater,” says Nellaiappan.

He expresses his interest in teaching and guiding people who want to a have a rainwater conservation system, without charging any fee.

S. Nellaiappan can be reached at 81449 30136.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 12:15:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ready-for-the-rainy-day/article28674798.ece

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