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Cost Efficient Water Supply For School : Ideas Invited! - Pune

I oversee the development of two schools on the edge of Pune. They both run on bore well water though one will eventually get the city water. We need to provide drinking water for about 400 students. Of course they bring their own in a bottle but I want to set up a supply of clean water. I would love to hear from people what the most cost effective system is to clean & provide water. Also how it is stored and made available is important. We are working on low cost schools for the disadvantaged and honestly do not have the money to buy big expensive systems. But proper drinking water is a must. Kindly provide suggestions. The school's website is:

Melinda Parker




Dear Melinda Parker,

I find your request a bit disturbing. Obviously you are unaware of the fact that 75% of the population in India and probably the world depends on groundwater as their source of water supply.

As a matter of fact a large majority of people living within the Pune municipal Limits supplement their water through borewells which are tapping ground water.

The municipal water which you assume is clean and save is really not all that clean when you really know what you are talking about.

Have you ever had the opportunity to see what is settling in the tanks in large residential societies- Believe me you will be surprised.

I can understand that you have probably misused your borewells and somehow the water has been contaminated due to certain activities of the school itself-( I am not sure if that is true)

Or probably with clean water you mean water which tastes like the bottled water one can buy from some shop and probably your borewell water does not taste that good as it has a slightly higher TDS.

I am sorry if I sound a bit harsh- but facts are facts.

Anyway, there are a couple of simple things that you could do to improve the taste of borewell water.

There is a simple membrane filter system available- not really costly, but you do need to make some investment there.

If you borewell is contaminated and smells- first you need to identify the source of the pollutant treat the source and automatically you get clean water in your borewell, naturally the change willl take some time be seen.

You could also initiate Roof top rain water harvesting system, this will definately improve the quality of water in terms of reducing hardness and improving the genral taste.

If it is just the taste that is bothering you, I advise you to mix a little bit of toothpaste- in the drinking water the flourine will help in disinfecting the water and also give a sweet taste to the water.

You also get some natural dried grass which is commonly used by locals in villages this also improves the taste of the water.

If you have a shallow storage tank which is open to sky, you could make use of sunlight to help you treat your water, early morning sun rays will do the job of disinfecting the water, and the hot sun rays during the day will help in initiating the carbonates in to precipitate and thus reduce the hardness there by improving the taste of the water.

if you need professional help, and are willing to pay a bit we could make a site visit and advise you how best you could go about the whole thing. we have been working with other organizations in and around Pune, one of the best references we could give you is "MAHER".


Dr. Anil Lalwani
Well & water works, pune


Dear Melinda Parker,

For your 2 schools in Pune, you can at best do a holistic water-shed management.

It’s simple, consider water in and water out. Assess water as a resource, how it can be optimized, adapting the Water- Mantra 1.e 4Rs- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recharge.

We are a Ngo carrying out developmental and environmental upgradation work and awareness and participation activities in communities. We charge a token fees to meet with our costs and efforts and have helped many institutions viz. Scindia School- Gwalior, Annamye Ashram- Kasauni, Hamdard School – New Delhi, SERA School- Meerut and some others.

Pl. do contact us and we would provide you the specific details.

With well wishes,

Er. Ajit Seshadri
The VigyanVijay Foundation


Dear Melinda,

I can understand your concern for making safe water available for children in your schools. Besides being a Water Management Consultant, I am also an active Rotarian. Rotary has installed several hundred Bio Sand filters at numerous schools in and around Bangalore where I live,to provide safe drinking water. These filters are simple to use and are available at subsidised prices if you get them through a Rotary Club.

Bio Sand filters are also called 'slow sand filters'. The design of the filters and testing was done by a University in Canada at the instance of the Rotary International which is a world wide organisation. I suggest you approach the Rotary club nearest to you and ask them to help.If you face any difficulties, you can contact me to help out with the Rotary side of things for such filters.Incidentally, I am a member of a Rotary Club in Bangalore which belongs to Rotary International District 3190.


Mobile:093437 34229



Dear Melinda Parker,

Firstly, the nature of response to your query would depend upon where the schools are located in the vicinity of Pune. The location will determine the potential risks (quantitative and quality wise) to drinking water. Depending upon these risks, a response mechanism needs to be developed. Would be able to advise if some more specific details are available. Also, there are experts who can provide specific advice, especially with respect to the Pune context.

Would be willing to help in any way possible, if more information can be provided.

Please feel free to contact us on the address or phone given below.
Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM)

Plot 4 Lenyadri Society, Sus road Pashan
Ph: +91-20-25871539

Warm wishes.

Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni
Executive Director
Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM)

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