Better access to recycled water

Better access to recycled water

Recycling in construction has become extremely important today, especially when it comes to water. Sanjay Khorana looks at how the Indian construction industry can conserve water - something that’ll benefit all of us in the long run

Around the globe, people are working hard to protect natural resources before depletion reaches an alarming level. Due to increased population, the consumption of water has gone up manifold. Therefore, it is very essential to protect the water resources and maintain the balance in the ecosystem.

Mandatory rule

Construction activity leads to the generation of solid wastes, which comprises sand, gravel, concrete, stone, bricks, wood, metal, glass, plastic, paper and the like. The management of construction and demolition waste is a major concern for developers due to the increased quantum of demolition’s remains, increase in transportation and disposal cost and above all, the rising concern about pollution and environmental deterioration.

In Gurgaon, all construction activities have been interrupted till they present a confirmation from Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Gurgaon, saying that they were not extracting ground water. 

The authority stated that from now onwards, it is a mandatory rule to conserve potable water and use recycled water for construction purposes, including grading and compaction, wetting pads, dust control, landscape irrigation and sewer flushing. 

Making the most

An important step in integrating recycling into the construction operation is to look for the local resources available. The water recycling process utilises basic physical, biological and chemical principles to remove contaminants from water.

Use of mechanical or physical systems to treat waste water is generally referred to as primary treatment followed by secondary and tertiary or advanced treatment. 

Construction spoils, including bituminous material and other hazardous materials, must not be allowed to contaminate water courses, and the dump sites for such must be secured such that they should not leach into the ground water.

Also, any hazardous waste generated during the construction phase, should be disposed off as per applicable rules and norms, with the necessary statutory approval. 

The ground water levels are dropping at an alarming rate so reusing water from the drains minimises the need to extract groundwater, particularly for construction purposes. Using natural groundwater potentially reduces disease and obnoxious smells derived from the drain, maintaining biodiversity.  

Counting the benefits 

In the long term, these are some of the benefits that developers and residents can reap from using recycled water: 

* Cleaning the wetland will improve the ecology of the area and soon it will become the recreation centre for the local people.

* Recycling has an environmental impact as it conserves energy, reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources.

* By developing recycled water networks, we are ensuring a sustainable water supply for our next generation.

* By providing our customers with opportunities to save drinking water, we are promoting the highest environmental standards in land use and water management.

* Developers need to fund drinking water, recycled water and sewage reticulation systems for their own developments.

* Recycled water will be accessed through a different pipe system parallel to the drinking water system.

* Recycled water reduces the burden on other water sources.

* Recycled water costs less than drinking water as it is a renewable resource that is continually replenished and always available.

These benefits will be transfigured into a source of pride as property owners realise that they have made the right property decision, stiffening the reputation of developers and real estate agents.

Selling properties that have access to recycled water will add to the environmental credentials of developers and demonstrate a strong commitment to the natural environment. 

So, it’s about time we make a conscious decision to embrace recycling. Let’s start with our homes.  

(The author is the senior vice president of Tashee Group)

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