When I lived in Coimbatore, I used to hear a lot of people complain very much about the scarcity of water in the city and the lack of responsibility of the authorities about it.
Its easy to blame the government and the authorities about the scarcity of water: the public including me never used to take any action for minimizing loses.
When we see a broken tap, we spend our 10 Rs to make a call to the news paper office to complain it, instead of fitting it with a 25 Rs tap and solving it.
We say the authorities are careless and inefficient. Only very few knows the actual amount of work done by the water department to fullfill he thirst of Coimbatore city.
Its very hard to understand that, Coimbatore is one of the few lucky cities in Tamil Nadu to get continuous supply of fresh water. Even the neighboring city of Tirupur gets salty water. Even the villagers living near the purification plant gets bore well water which is salty.
Once you reach the south east of Tamilnadu, the people have to walk miles and miles to fetch fresh water: its the same in most of the cities in eastern Tamil Nadu.
The Journey of Water to Coimbatore starts about a 100 miles away from the city through the huge pipes fetching water from the dams made in the western ghats like Siruvani Dam, Pillur Dam etc
Water from Pillur reaches the Pillur purification plant located near Karamadai: a state of art plant running 24 hours which is constantly monitored by a team of experts for 24 hours: people who are guarding the treasure feed to the city dwellers.
Though the actual cost of production is about 1 Rs per liter, it is supplied for just 10p at the city.. The Pillur plant is an energy efficient plant which uses just gravitational force to transfer water between tanks. It uses electricity only to pump the purified water to the city.
I got a chance to visit and learn about the process and understand how difficult it is to execute when I visited the plant during my journalism studies.
The water from the dam is taped into these Primary sedimentary tanks, where the bulk of rocks and materials gets settled. This also works as a natural treatment with the light of sun.The water from the primary sedimentary tank is fed into the aerator, where, it cascades through a fountain. This helps in carbon dioxide reduction (decarbonation) and oxidation of iron and manganese found in water.
Water is treated with Lime, Alum and Chlorine to make it pure. The mixture mist be monitored in real-time to make sure that it is mixed in the right ratio.
Finest quality of Alum is used for best quality.
A final filtration is performed through the patented filter to make sure that the water supplied is free from any impurities.
The finest quality of Chlorine is bought by the department: which is brought from Erode or Chennai. A cylender lasts for a couple o days
As a final word, its always good to think how precious each drop of water is, when we waste it..
- Kalidasan, Osai
- Jayaprakash CR, Coimbatore
- Surendran AN, Coimbatore