Rainwater harvesting in Rajiv Nagar School

When Mourya Jayaram found that the plot in Kaikondarahalli once had an open well, he was fairly confident that it would have water. Mourya’s company, the builder group Gravity Infrastructures, had acquired a few plots in Kaikondarahalli. This particular plot, located right opposite Kaikondarahalli lake, was one of them. Managing Partner at the company, Mourya decided to dig up the closed well here.

Mourya felt that well might have water, since the company had already dug two open wells in Kaikondarahalli; both the wells were providing water to the company’s apartments here. “There are many localities in Bengaluru, like Jayanagar, that still have open wells. Besides, this well was likely to yield as it was near Kaikondarahalli lake,” says Mourya. The well had once been used to irrigate the plot, which used to be farmland.

“From the architecture of the well, it was clear that it had been in use for at least 40 years, before it was closed in 1995-96,” says Mourya. The well had then become a dumping point for garbage, and was later filled up with mud. Mourya got a team of well diggers to remove the mud deposited in the well. Peddanna, whose team had dug the well, says that water was struck at just 20 feet, and that it had to be pumped out twice a day so that digging could continue. The well was dug to a total depth of 33 feet, and now has 12-13 feet of water.

Upon digging, the traditional stone architecture of the well was found in the bottom 6-7 feet. Hence the entire well was built up this way, and not using concrete rings as is the case with modern wells. The well with a diameter of 10 feet looks traditional too, with its seven feet high wall built up above ground.

The well yields 15,000 litres of water daily, which is sent to the company’s apartment ‘The Edge’, located some 500 feet away. The water meets all the needs of the apartment, which comprises 24 households. When residents had first moved into the apartment in December 2016, water used to be drawn from two borewells and an open well. Since the old well was revived this March, only water from this well has been used. The borewells are still pumped once a week, so that their water does not become stagnant.

When tested, the quality of well water was found to be good, and it is used for all purposes. It is only softened before use, to remove hardness, as is done in the case of all water sources of the apartment. “When tested, the well water did not have E.Coli, but contained traces of some metals that are not so harmful,” says Mourya. He says that digging open wells are preferable, since their water is less mineralised compared to borewell water. “Also open wells do not dry up completely, while borewells do. Of the borewells dug in this area, only 30-40% yield for a longer period; many do not yield at all or dry up within months,” he says. Particularly in the case of small apartments, Mourya says, water needs can be fully met by an open well.

Dimensions of the well 10 feet diameter, 33 feet depth
Daily yield 15,000 litres
Description of implementation An old closed well was revived. Mud in the well was removed, and the well was built up on the remnants of its existing stone walls.
Cost of implementation Rs 70,000
Time taken One week
Any issues at present No
Contact water@biome-solutions.com
Location Opposite Kaikondarahalli lake