Contractor has harvest of rains

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At a time when every drop of water counts, a civil contractor in Kochi has set a grand example by establishing a 1.15 lakh litre rainwater harvesting facility at his house — perhaps the largest by an individual in the state — and is drawing water from it round-the-year for all his needs.

Jerome is into the 10th year of his life sans chlorinated water; and for the past nine years, he has been coolly crossing the summer months using the rainwater stored at the basement of his 1,150 square feet house at Perandoor.

All the needs of his four- member family — from drinking water needs to cooking to flushing — are met by the rainwater all through the year.

They need 550 litre per day. The family waters its small garden using the waste water that comes from the daily washing of the utensils and clothes.

Jerome established the facility at a time when nobody, not even the government, thought of harvesting the pristine source of drinking water. Rainwater is harvested on the terrace of the house, brought down by pipe, and stored up to a height of 145cm at the basement.

“Eyebrows were raised when I hit on this idea. Being in the construction field, I was sure it wouldn’t do any harm for the structure. Then, in the last 10 years, I have been encouraging all those for whom I build houses to also go for this facility. However, only one house owner has agreed to do this so far, and that too for 4,000 litres,” says Jerome.

From his experience, Jerome says that, by keeping water shut from light and air, its purity can be maintained. This year, however, was disappointing. There was very little rain so far, and his basement is filled only upto the level of 75cm, he says.

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