SILT – a natural phenomenon

Silt is the finest particles of soil which get suspended in flowing rain water and deposit at lower courses. During monsoon period the turbulence is high hence the suspended silt does not get time to settle and the water appears murky. 

silveron-rainwater-silt
Suspended Silt in Rain Water

Most rain water harvesters divert all their efforts and attention on checking silt from flowing into their rain water harvesting structure. The most  common focus is on construction of chamber for settlement of silt. This basically is a small underground tank where through an inlet pipe rain water with suspended silt enters and clear water is expected to go out through another outlet pipe after settlement of silt (decantation).

The rain water flowing into the silt removal chamber does not get sufficient time to stand still and let the silt settle hence most of the silt flows into the recharge structure and if at all the silt settles down in the chamber, it covers and blocks the out let which in turn starves the recharge structure of water.  It is practically impossible to keep cleaning the silt chambers at regular intervals.

Silt is a natural phenomenon and should not be such a major deterrent to RWH efforts. SILVERON designs recharge shaft such that the performance is not hampered by normal silt naturally present in the flowing water.  The design is such that the silt which had entered the shaft in the previous monsoon is removed easily during the pre-monsoon maintenance in subsequent year, at almost negligible cost.

Supporting nature – a sure path to success. 
Going against nature – a recipe for failure.

Water harvesting – reason for failure

In the pursuit of designing a flawless rain water harvesting design, team SILVERON focused on choked and non functional structures to understand the reasons of failure.

It was observed that artificial ground water recharge systems designed with slotted pipe work efficiently in the first few days of rain and there after their intake efficiency reduces rapidly and finally water starts holding in them.

slotted-designs-structures
Slotted-pipe design based rainwater harvesting structures

Our study of the problem showed that in this structure design the rain water is directed to flow into the pipe with slots. This water fills the pipe and moves out of the slots to fill  the space outside the pipe and form a water column around the pipe up to the same level as that of the column inside the pipe.

The soil particles get suspended in the water column outside & both columns recede simultaneously. The suspended silt deposits inside as well as outside the pipe, blocking the slots at the last part of the pipe.  With every inflow of water, this process is repeated till all the slots in the pipe is chocked with silt and finally the pipe becomes a closed pipe – This invariably leads to system failure.                                                                             

In this system, it is expected that mother earth will absorb water as soon as it comes out of the slots while ignoring the basic principle of nature that ‘water seeks it own level’ at the first opportunity.

Nature

The English dictionary defines science as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”.

We at SILVERON, while analyzing the reasons which lead to failure of rain water harvesting efforts concluded that Nature is the ultimate science and natural processes, systems and principles cannot be challenged or tampered with.

We can endorse without doubt that nature knew the importance of water for life on earth so it covered the major portion of earth by seas and oceans. Let us not forget the soil with its massive capacity to hold rainwater as ground water.

Nature created the atmosphere, force of gravity, the sun, the moon, the day, the night and the seasons, the plants, the forests, the mountains, the glaciers and the rivers. Every atom, every molecule, every cell is the creation of nature.

Hundreds of thousands of natural principles like water seeking its own level, hot air or water vapor rising and colder air taking its place, clouds forming and rain fall that gives fresh water on earth, are in operation at all times.

Process of photosynthesis, refreshes the supply of oxygen and reduces carbon dioxide in the environment. Thick forests check the velocity of the wind, where every leaf acts as a seat for settlement of suspended particles in the air, where the butterflies, animals and birds make their home and help in pollination and disbursement of seeds, where the fruits and vegetables grow in abundance and from where the food chain begins.

The magnificent and amazing natural principles, processes and systems  are so well amalgamated into each other that we simply fail to take notice of them.

The list of nature’s feats is … unending!

Man is so engrossed and overwhelmed by his own self that he tries to ignore nature, often dares to challenge nature by going against its basic principles and sees reason only when nature exhibits its displeasure and fury. 

Supporting nature – a sure path to success.
Going against nature – a recipe for failure.