CHENNAI: The ongoing water crisis has made everyone realise the vulnerability of the city’s groundwater sources and the immediate need to safeguard it. Keeping this in mind, Environmentalist Foundation India has recently started restoring a waterbody in Ambattur, with special focus on replenishing the aquifer.
Karuppan Kulam near Menambedu in Ambattur, a waterbody which has been ignored for years, has been recently taken up for restoration by EFI volunteers. During this, a new type of recharge well called the central circular recharge pit, was installed to increase groundwater recharge. Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of EFI, said this technique was deployed for the first time in Chennai. He explained that this technique will enable water to reach the aquifer in a uniform manner, without getting accumulated in one place.
Around 60-65 per cent rate of recharge is expected in this method. Based on the size, nature and aquifer depth of water bodies especially in northwest and southwest parts of Chennai, these pits can be installed. The pit acts as a sponge and becomes the first point to receive water.
“This new technique is connected to triangular shafts through perpendicular shafts located on the borders of the pond. These kind of pits can be installed in areas which get heavy rainfall. Though Chennai received poor rainfall for the last two years, Madhavaram and Ambattur recorded high rainfall rates. This makes multi-directional transfer of water to the water table, possible,” he said.
Before the restoration work started, this pond was one of the many waterbodies in Ambattur which was subjected to utter negligence by public and officials. Construction debri, garbage and sewage was dumped into the pond, eventually killing its water capacity. Regulating the inflow and outflow systems to the pond, deepening the pond based on the aquifer depth, strengthening and raising of bunds and removal of garbage with corporation’s help, were the works carried out by EFI for the past three months.
Restoration work begins on another pond
Also, restoration works for another waterbody in Alapakkam near Tambaram, has started on Monday. EFI members said they will be coordinating with a life sciences company, TAKE Solutions, to clean and fence this pond. Around 70 employees will help in cleaning up the pond and are likely to wrap up restoration by June end.