Thursday, March 10, 2016

Storing rain water in wells

I had recently posted a note about collecting rain water to provide a safe and reliable source of drinking water. Visit
However, it may be worth considering an alternative – that of providing about 5000 litres of rain water storage to meet multiple needs of a rural family. The concept of a well as a part of rural house is well understood. The only problem is that ground water levels have gone down so much that most of the traditional wells have gone dry. The alternative that is relevant here is that of using gutters at the edge of sloping roofs to collect run-off rain water and some plumbing to take it to the well. A special feature of such wells designed to store rain water would be the effort to minimize leakage of water. The sides as well as the bottom surface of the well would be cemented to avoid water loss. The following site provides some information on constructing small diameter wells reinforced with pre-cast concrete well-rings, but it is not specifically about wells designed to store rain water.   
Keeping the roof and the water clean is a challenge; tradition is no use in these matters. A water filtering mechanism, a cover for the top of the well and a hand pump to raise water seem to be relevant items.
Engineers interested in improving the quality of life in rural areas should experiment with different design alternatives. Improving rural water supply should be India’s next big mission after the Swachh Bharat effort.

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