Water woes is one of the things which every apartment complex encounters irrespective of their location. How many times have you got into an argument with your watchman or your managing committee because of insufficiency of water or due to the rising cost? And afterwards what is the conclusion? You either blame insufficient rains or simply denunciate it on the managing committee. Well, then there is Samhita Square, who took it in their hands to bring down their water bills.
Where it all began?
Occupancy at Samhita Square began in 2008 wherein the building had 3 bore wells. This helped them in achieving self-sufficiency up till 2011 as they had a water softener installed in 2009. In 2012, the members of the managing committee attended the Apartment Adda rainwater harvesting workshop and got inspired to take this upon themselves. They set up inline filters and started accumulation of water. On a good day, where there would be 30 minutes of rainfall, their bore well usage and electricity consumption would reduce by 50%.
But then arrived the summer of 2012, where it all began. The yield from the bore wells decreased and the electricity used for pumping increased. That very year, there were scanty rains and water tankers had to be come to their rescue. Each apartment had to bear an additional expense of Rs. 700, 5 hour night water disruption began and they eventually had to dig a 950 feet deep new bore well. That also did not solve their worries as the bore well motors failed twice and the electricity bills were sky high.
The unrest amongst people grew and the wastage increased too. Residents would often store water and then throw it away when there would be regular supply. Genuine users like early office goers and those who walked home late suffered the most. Leaky taps and flush tanks added on to everyone’s misery.
In the general body meeting of 2013, water meter for apartments was proposed. It was decided that each apartment would have 2 individual meters with separate circuits for the 3 to 4 utility points. The entire plumbing line was modified to set up there meters. The cost of the entire project was Rs. 19, 20,000 i.e. Rs. 20,000 per apartment.
In return, the savings were humongous. Earlier, the consumption was 8278 KWH of electricity over 8 months. This came down to 6052 KWH post metering. The water tanker requirement from an average of 130 tankers per month drastically came down to an average requirement of 30 tankers per month. It is also notable that presently, they do not require any tankers as the consumption is met by bore wells and corporation water supply. Also the 5 to 8 hour water disruption no longer exists.
Watch Mr. James Jacob from Samhita Square speak about their feat here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rnXvz-T2qkg
Mr. Kannan Venkatachalam who achieved a similar feat for Mana Sarovar apartments was also their inspiration. You can read his story here: http://apartmentadda.com/blog/champions/2011/04/29/story-of-32-water-meters/
Image Courtesy: in.all.biz
Also read about Installation of Water Meters in an Apartment Complex.