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Direct Injection of Rainwater Runoff to Borewell - Suggestions?

Normally, it is suggested to build an approximately 20 feet deep ring well around the Borewell and allow water to percolate through this and recharge a Borewell.


My specific queries are:

1) Can we not use a Pipeline from the roof ( which is clean) with a Pop Up Filter ( which is popular these days) and discharge water directly into the Borewell ? Will the Pop Up Filter take care of water quality and prevent contamination of Morewell?

2) Is it true that direct injection will ensure delivery of water quickly into the Borewell and recharge the aquifers quickly?






1. Direct Injection of Rainwater Runoff to Borewell

Dear Surendra,

Answers to your queries are:

1) Can we not use a Pipeline from the roof ( which is clean) with a Pop Up Filter ( which is popular these days) and discharge water directly into the Borewell ? Will the Pop Up Filter take care of water quality and prevent contamination of Morewell?

Ans: Yes You can use pipeline from a clean roof and put it in the borewell directly, without even installing a pop up filter, only thing is that you need to ensure that the bore well is subjected to chlorination every time water gets injected into the borewell.

As the roof is clean there is nothing that could enter the borewell and clog it, but bacteria enters along with the water and spoils the quality of the groundwater and aquifers,hence the disinfectant dose of chlorine.

2) Is it true that direct injection will ensure delivery of water quickly into the Borewell and recharge the aquifers quickly?

Ans: Direct or inderict ingection in to the borewell both recharge the aquifer, but if you have a thick layer of unconsolidated sediments contributing to the unconfined aquifer in the region it is always better to charge this zone using the pit method as direct injection in the borewell will not recharge this zone becasue of the casing that is usually installed in this unconsolidated portion.

Anil Lalwani

2. Dear Surendra, Direct

Dear Surendra,

Direct recharging to the borewell may lead to trapping of air bubbles in the wells. As such clean water can be diverted to the borewell, ensuring that no air bubbles are there and the pipe should touch the water level.

With regards,

D. Chakraborty
Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)
New Delhi

3. Dear Surendra,• Generally

Dear Surendra,

• Generally rain- water is caught at catchment- water shed , on line storage provided, and then filtered to make rain- water clean and clear, and taken for charging, either into ponds, tanks or into a recharge bore- well ..
Also this recharging is done well above the level, water is drawn out...for consumption..
i.e The soil- beds provide some nore natural filteration and then it is sourced..
This also uses a well known concept called SAT- Soil Aquifer Treatment ...
Hence it is apt to use this mode of charging the ground aquifers, if it is noted that the user is generally satisfied with the mode of filtration, he is using it is fine… this can be done as explained.

• Direct injection is not generally permitted, as there could be occasions at which at the water- sheds cases can happen i.e become contaminated or waste- water or even sewage getting into rain water run offs inadvertently...then we are on to bigger problems..
Hence it is prudent to leave the rain harvesting to be done using separate rechage-bore wells..and also done at an aquifer higher than the ones generally in use...
Trust it explains..
With well wishes to the Rain Harvester...
Er. Ajit Seshadri
The Vigyan Vijay Foundation,
New Delhi

4. Direct Injection to ground aquifer

Depending upon quality of rain water being collected on the roof itself, from dust, turbidity, plastics, etc one can pass through this collected source of water througha suitable filtere and then firnally to the borewell.

Dr. M. K. Khandelwal, Principal Scientist
Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (ICAR)
Regional Research Station
Bharuch 392012 (Gujarat), India
Telefax:+91 2642 225673
Phones: +91 2642 225688 and 225805 (Res)
Mobile: +91 9426861962

5. Direct Injection of Rain Water Runoff to Borewell-Suggestions?

I thank Anil Lalwaniji, Chakrabothyji, Ajit Sheshadriji and Khandelwalji for their enlightened views.

From the collective views, it is clear that contamination is a major issue when it comes to direct injection.

What if we follow the below mentioned method:

a) Ensure that Roof is clean.

b) Use a Pop Up Filter for first level of filtartion.

c) Take the discharge of the Pop Up Filter into a plastic drum ( let's call this the First Drum)

d) Take the over flow of the water from the First Drum into a Second Drum so that any residual Silt is collected only in the First Drum.

e) Take the over Flow of the water from the Second Drum into a Third Drum.

f) Since there is no chance of any sewage or waste water getting into this rain water, I do not know if we need to chlorinate or add a suitable anti-microbial chemical. However, if this is recommeded by the experts, this treatment can be provided in the Third Drum .

g) The over flow from the Third Drum to be injected directly into the Borewell.

Prior to direct injection, one can always flush the Bore Well to clear off any silt or sedimentation at aquifer points.

Will this approach make sense?

Many Thanks,








6. Practical & scientific approach needed for RWH

Dear Sirs,

I joined this portal recently and found the topics quite interesting.  As a Geologist, I strongly feel the following about RWH being carried out by various organisations, individuals, Govt. agencies etc;

In a country like ours, where the cities & towns are thickly populated, it would be impossible to maintain clean roof tops which is the major source for rainwater harvesting. So, the rainwater which is collected from these sources shall be contaminated and infected with bacterias and virus. So, I would suggest the following:

The rainwater can be collected from each building and can be diverted to a common point, where it can be pressure filtered, and treated for bacteria and virus by Bio disinfectants. Then, such treated rain water can be directly utilised for supply to the Public by the water supply boards and / or directed to a large open well located in the catchment area of the acquifer which provides the water supply of that particular area.  By this method, each individual need not install filters in their buildings and also the water sourced even from roads by storm water drains can be treated and used for recharging the acquifer.

The area should be not more than 5 square kilometers, and it should be based on the nature of acquifer and the underlying geological formation.

I hope, by implementing this Model of ground recharge by RWH, much money can be saved and the Departments can focus on this economic model, rather than investing Crores of rupees in implementing the present Model RWH by fixing filters and all such other structures in each building.

Let Better sense prevail on our policy makers before implementing such models.  ( I pray BWSSB (Bangalore) is listening to this)

Comments and suggestions are welcome.










7. Direct Injection of rainwater into Bore Well

I could not agree more with Shivakumarji. However, it is a fact that governments have , for whatever reasons, failed the people for many many decades. Else, we would not have been in this situation. There is no forum where the government listens to great ideas from citizens and implements them in an accountable and measurable manner.

Ancient practices based on wisdom and experience have been thrown to the wind by one and all.

It is also a fact that Indians have a very strong family orientation ( that borders on the selfish) but an extremely poor community orientation. So, the society at large is responsible for whatever ills we are facing today. We also debate and argue too much but implement very little.

With our getting too much into this macro discussion , would like to focus on the matter of direct injection of rain water into borewells. The idea is to find a safe methodology of direct injection since I believe this can effectively and safely recharge the aquifers.

There is a mention of bio disinfectants. Can you name specific disinfectants that have been tested to be effective ?





8. Practical & scientific approach

Dear V.Surendra,

coming back once more to your query.

About the question of bacteria not being present as no sewage coming in contact with the roof and pipes.

 I would like to bring to your attention that there are a lot of uncontrollable activities which we never can control or even realize could happen but these tend to be carriers of bacteria which when it finds ideal conditions could  spoil the quality of the groundwater.

Rotting leaves, bird droppings, rodents and other nocturnal animals on the roof. all are potential carrier/contaminants.

Give it a little thought and you could possibly come up with a few more to add to this list.

You need not have a series of drums, one drum after a filter  would probably take care of the silt that would accumulate in one year, especially when there is going to be a provision for first wash at the onset of the monsoon season.

Usually when direct recharge in to the borewell is to be considered the transimissivity of the aquifer needs to be very high to be able to accept that kind of quick slug of water in a short period of time. If the transimissivity is not high enough there will be overflow conditions within couple of muinites of it starting to rain, reslulting to loss of recharge possibilities.

A proper filter and buffer tank system ensures that there is a lag time and maximum recharge entering in to the ground and groudnwater system.

My advice is that you do not try to over simplify & generalize the whole system and try to come up with an easy solution of do-it-yourself kind of kit. Natural systems do not work that way.

Choice is really yours.


Anil Lalwani


9. additional information

Dear Member,

We have observed that your arrangement is alright on a design board,
but practically we have to rely on the designs of CGWB, who give

1 st ly Collection of rain water accumulation..

2 nd ly Clearing and cleaning up rain water using natural stones/
gravel/ pebbles/ or good quality sand etc..

3rd ly Charging using adequate bore with perforated pipe etc..

All these are time tested, and all failure proof..
Pl adapt these above mentioned in your system..etc..

All the best..

Ajit Seshadri
The Vigyan Vijay  Foundation

10. Direct Injection into Borewell

Thanks Lalwaniji and Sheshadriji,

First clarification - idea is not to simplify anything but seriously arrive at a solution for direct injection into Bore Wells and build all the criteria for scientific and successful harvesting through this method.

This is because, there are several tested methodologies available for indirect injection or percolation. Haven't seen too much of information on direct injection methods. Am sure many people must be directly injecting and contaminating the Bore Wells on account of lack of information or methods.

Now, in addition to some of the criteria mentioned earlier ( primary filtering with Water Board recommended / specified Pop Up Filter, further desilting with drums and maybe use of another Pop Up Filter at discharge point ) if:

a) bacterial / microbial contamination is also taken care of by chlorination or other appropriate methods.

b) the borewell is formed in hard rock

c) if the discharge from the filter system is calibrated to , say, a collection from a 1000 sft roof only and to the capacity of the aquifer to absorb the discharge without over flow (by studying what the over flow point would be)

d) Additional Pop Up Filter used at discharge point to ensure that if discharge rate exceeds a certain rate, the filter will Pop Out and direct the discharge into a secondary percolation pit.

If these criterial are built into the Direct Injection Design - will direct injection be an additional alternative to percolation methods?

Please comment.



11. Direct Injection

Dear V. Surendra,

As long as proper care is taken to ensure that the water being injected in to the deeper aquifer system is both chemically and  bacterial / microbiologically safe, I see no problem if it is directly injected in to the borewells and the percolation pit is done away with.

If one borewell cannot accept the total water that is being injected, it could always be diverted via overflow system (pipes) to another borewell. In this case one really does not need to have multiple filter systems, one common filter could be sufficient naturally it would have to incorporate the buffer tank as no filter would be able to filter water at the same rate of  water  flowing freely through a pipe.

Once this is achieved and the chlorination done it can be diverted to multiple borewells at rates which are acceptable  for achieving zero or minimum overflow conditions.

There have been instances, where even in hard rock aquifers the transmissivity is so high that even when water is pumped in to these wells using a 3 hp monoblock pump there is no apparent rise in SWl within the borewells.

The filter system will require  regular cleaning .

This kind of system should work, and depending on the roof area and  the borewell(s) recharge capacity additional buffer tank (barrels) could be added to the total system making it a totally modular system which can be added to based on individual needs.


Anil Lalwani

12. Direct Injection into Borewells

Dear Lalwaniji and all the contributing experts,

Thanks for your valuable input.

I think Direct Injection of Borewells will open up an additional option for all of us concerned trying to implement rain water harvesting by way of adopting all possible techniques like:

a) Percolation

b) Increasing Storage volumes

c) Utilizing existing storage more efficiently.

d) Implementing belt-tightening measures such as metering, drip irrigation methods, recycling, sustained community education on economy in use of water, etc.

I fervently hope everybody in society develops a 'Water Sense'.



13. Answer to Question Not Asked

Dear V Surendra,

Here is an answer to a question you have not asked, and therefore no one has answered. The question is – should you recharge the borewell at all  ?

You have not given details about the size of the roof, location of your home, etc. so I can not estimate the quantity of water harvested. However, I assume that you do not live in a 25 bedroom mansion. Those who do, do not ask water conservation questions on IWP. For a typical urban middle class home, and also assuming you do not live in Cherapoonji, the total quantity of water harvested in one rainfall will be such that it can be easily stored in a Syntex type tank, and used up before the next rainfall. Compared to recharging the aquifer, this has several benefits.

1: It takes much less energy to pump it back, so it is a “greener” option.

2: Water stays cleaner.

3: It doesn’t flow away. It is yours and you know how much there is.

I have said this earlier also on this forum, and it seems will have to keep saying it at regular intervals, that it is not automatic that harvested rainwater must be used to recharge an aquifer. Quite often it is better to store it and use it directly. Since you are very concerned that “Ancient practices based on wisdom and experience have been thrown to the wind by one and all”, please note that our forefathers also understood that storing the water in a tank and using it directly, is a better option. All the tanka, bawdi, etc. that you read about are direct storages, and NOT aquifer recharge. Recharge is just a method of storage. Whether to store it in a tank, or in aquifer, is to be decided on basis of quantity to be stored, manner of use, etc. It is an unfortunate contribution of the “water experts”, that they have raised aquifer recharging to the status of a pious ritual, to be performed blindly.

Chetan Pandit

14. Direct Injection

Dear Chetan Pandit,

Thanks you for your advice. If you read my queries carefully, you will note that I am looking at an opportunity to harvest rainwater beyond standard methods including Storage. There is absolutely no debate on the point that Storage is the best possible way to use rain water. My question was different.

Since this is an expert's forum and because I am a layman, I raised a specifc query on direct injection of Bore Wells. The idea is to implement all possible inclusive but suitable methodologies to harvest rain water - irrespective of whether one stays. In my case it is an apartment complex.

While raising this, let me clarify again, I strongly believe that we must use every method to harvest every drop of water. This couild be :

 1) Percolation techniques

2) Storage Techniques like what you have mentioned.

3) Tube Wells

4) Community level measures such as reviving lakes, water shed techniques, techniques like Shivkumarji has shared above etc.

5) Efficient usage techniques such as drip irrigation, recycling of water and so on.

Till date direct injection methods are not prominently practiced for various reasons.

I am in Bangalore and Bore Wells are being drilled rampantly. Without going into who's to blame for this, when one looks at the results today what do we see?

That the water table has crashed and aquifers are also running dry. Some reports say that there are over a million borewells in Bangalore and neary 50 or 60 % are dry. And reports also say that most Bore Wells are contaminated in any case.

In this context, I just initiated a discussion to see if we could really arrive at a sensible , safe and sustainable model for direct injection of bore wells. More so because, according to me, this could gain prominence in near future since bore wells are drying up at an alarming rate. Just natural rain water is unable to charge the aquifers at a rate equal to exploitation of same - unfortunately.

Also, in any construted area like an apartment , area available to enhance water storage is not available. So, what do you do if you have a few dried up bore wells in any private area one resides (may be an apartment complex or a housing colony or even independent houses) and no space to create extra storage ? Do we just let spare rain water run off or look at more ways to recharge within constraints?

So, while strongly being a proponent of all the techniques that have been mentioned, I just felt that it is time we look at direct injection also as an important and actively propagated technique to recharge aquifers.

So, trust this clarifies to you that I have only initated a discussion on direct injection to gain knowledge on the safest and right way to do this and at the same time have not excluded the other techniques being practiced. Simply, just looking at ways to store and use maximum rainwater holistically employing all techniques in an optimal way.

Shall very sincerely appreciate if you could share with us techniques which will make direct injection safe and sustainable and add to this knowledge bank.

Many Thanks.



15. Storage methods

Dear Mr Surendra,

I am reading with great interest re the issue of storage of water. Here is one method used by a Japanese company which can create storage intelligently.


Ace Technologies

16. Dear V Surendra, There are

Dear V Surendra,

There are lots of things wrong, and a lot of confusion, in what you have written. It is not possible to clarify all of it, because this is neither a distance education program nor an e-seminar. I am responding to only one point. (Your text is in bold italics fonts)

I am looking at an opportunity to harvest rainwater beyond standard methods including Storage. Please understand that harvesting rainwater, and artificial recharge of aquifer, are two different things. The former refers to various means of collecting rainwater. The latter refers to what to do with the collected rainwater. To explain the error with an analogy - this is like saying “I am looking at an opportunity to earn money beyond standard methods including keeping it in saving bank account.”

Is the error clear now? Rain water harvesting is equivalent to earning money. Whether to store it in tanks or aquifers is equivalent to whether to keep it in a cash box or in a saving account. This mix-up persists throughout your query. e.g. I raised a specifc query on direct injection of Bore Wells. The idea is to implement all possible inclusive but suitable methodologies to harvest rain water - Again, direct injection of borewell is NOT a methodology for rainwater harvesting. It is a technique for storing the harvested water.

An apartment complex has many flats under the same roof, and therefore the roof area per family, or per person, is much less compared to a bunglow. The quantity of rain water harvested depends on roof area and climate. For an apartment complex in Banglore, the quantity of harvested water will not be enough to justify recharge, and I do not recommend it. Store it in a tank. Syntax type tanks come with a very small foot print, and are commonly used in apartment complexes. If you visit Delhi, go to an area called Vasant Kunj. It is an apartments society, and the ground is littered with such tanks.

Finally, Since this is an expert's forum and because I am a layman, I raised a specifc query on direct injection of Bore Wells, and then In this context, I just initiated a discussion to see if we could really arrive at a sensible, safe and sustainable model for direct injection of bore wells, are contradictory. Did you ask a question in the manner of a layman asking an expert, or were you trying to initiate a e-discussion? The very title of the IWP column “Ask The Expert” suggests the former, and I replied accordingly. If you intended a discussion you should have written it in the blog and then I would have responded differently, or may not have responded at all. Discussions are meaningful only amongst persons having approximately same level of understanding of science.

Chetan Pandit

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