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Rain Water Harvesting | Around the House | Appliances | Cooking Tips | Grandma's useful Tips | Miscellaneous

Rain water harvesting from rooftops

Rain Water Harvesting

Harvesting rooftop rainwater is one answer to the city’s water scarcity.

WHAT is rooftop rainwater harvesting?
The process of collecting, storing and using rain falling on rooftops of houses or other constructions is called, rooftop rainwater harvesting.

WHY harvest rainwater?
Because rainwater is a pure natural resource and saving it makes ecological and financial sense.

WHO can harvest rooftop rainwater?

Rainwater harvesting is for any person planning to build a house or who is in the process of building a house on an independent plot in Bangalore. Persons with already built houses can also
harvest rainwater by ‘retrofitting’ such a built house for rainwater harvesting.
Persons in apartments can also harvest rainwater but a community approach may be required in such a case.
Industries and factories can harvest rainwater since large roof areas are usually available in such constructions.
People who are purchasing water from private water tankers can harvest rainwater to lessen their financial outflow.

WHEN to harvest rooftop rainwater?
It is possible to collect rainwater in Bangalore throughout the year and use the same for gardening, car washing, washing clothes, dishes, bathing, toilet, house swabbing and other domestic non-potable purposes. If you want to use the harvested rainwater for all purposes including drinking and cooking, it is a must to boil and filter before use.

DESIGN your roof well for rainwater collection.

  • A flat roof can be gently sloped to drain water towards the storage system. A ‘nahani trap’ or ‘floor trap can be placed at the time of casting the roof just near the inlets of the down water pipes.
  • Sloping roofs should have a gutter of PVC or Zinc sheet to collect water and channel it to the down water pipe system.
  • Roofs should be uncluttered and should be easy to clean by sweeping and swabbing if necessary.
  • Down water pipes should be designed well - 90 mm diameter. PVC pipes resistant to UV rays appear to be the best bet as down water pipes. Of course this depends on the roof area to be drained.
  • 3 to 4 down water pipes seem enough for a 1,000 to 1,200 square feet area.

    Filter the rainwater before storage: filtering can be as basic as a floor trap placed before the water enters the down water pipe or a piece of sponge placed at the inlet of the down water pipe. A PVC bucket with gravel, sand and charcoal is a good filter before rain water is stored. A PVC drum with sponge on the inlet and outlet is also a filter. A small two chamber inspection filter tank can also be devised.

    DESIGN tips for rainwater harvesting.
    Try to determine your storage system at the planning stage itself. Would it be a:
  • roof level storage tank
  • a ground level drum or masonry tank
  • a below the ground sump
  • a partially below ground and partially above ground tank.
Locate the storage system appropriately.
Roof level storage tanks may need to be at the rear of the house or on the sides so that it is neither obstrusive or visually offensive.
Ground level drums or tanks occupy space and should not hinder movement or appear unsightly.
Below the ground sump is a good option since most new constructions in Bangalore go in for sumps anyway. Sumps are hidden from view, less costly to build and do not obstruct movement.
Note: Always provide for an outlet for excess collection of water from the storage system.

Further treatment of stored rainwater
It is a common perception that water stored for long goes bad. If water does not contain any organic material and if it is stored in a clean container it can stay for very very long.
Some small treatment like ‘alum dosing’ or ‘chlorination’ can also be done to stored water to improve its quality.
Addition of a small quantity of alum dissolved in half a bucket of water will bring down the suspended solids and clear the stored rainwater.
Similarly adding a small quantity of bleaching powder to half a bucket of water and then mixing it with the stored rainwater will kill bacterial contamination.
Great care should be exercised while chlorinating and it is not particularly recommended.
It is always recommended that water used for drinking should be boiled and filtered invariably.
Courtesy: Environment and Health Foundation (India). The foundation, considering the severity of water scarcity in Bangalore had conducted a seminar on ‘rain water harvesting for Bangalore’ on November 11th, 1999, in the city.

For more tips on rain water harvesting contact EHF (India) at:
Address: # 7, 8th Main Road, 3rd Phase, 2nd Stage, Domlur, Bangalore 560 071
Phone: 530 8137, 554 3397

web site:

Tips to make life easier

Do you feel that there are simply not enough hours in a day to accomplish everything? Do you wonder where you'll find energy to go to work, fix the meals, maintain your house, manage your money, educate your children, etc. In short, do you wish to make your life less difficult?

Here we present some practical solutions for everyday life.

Around the house

Keep your carpet smelling fresh and clean with baking soda - just sprinkle the soda liberally over the entire carpet and let it sit for an hour. Then vacuum it up.

For a sweeter smelling house, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the dust-bag of your vacuum cleaner before you start it up.

You can use mayonnaise to remove crayon marks from wood furniture. Just let it sit for ten minutes and then rub with a soft cloth.

Vinegar is an inexpensive and effective cleaning agent and it has many practical uses:

To remove white water deposits from your pots and pans, simply pour white vinegar into the pot and boil for 15 minutes.

Cleaning your dishwasher is child's play if you run an empty cycle with white vinegar.

White vinegar can also remove stains and odours of pets from the carpet.

When you are painting, just add a few drops of vanilla essence to the paint when mixing. This will remove the unpleasant smell and still won't affect the colour.

To keep the toilet bowl sparkling, mix equal parts of baking soda and borax; add white vinegar and  use this mixture as a cleaning fluid.


Avoid long, uninterrupted use of your blender. Such misuse can overheat the motor and possibly cause a breakdown.

Keep the mixing bowl from slipping on the countertop when using a handheld mixer by putting a rubberised mat or a damp cloth underneath it.

Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of your processor's bowl before you put on the lid. After processing, you'll discover that the usually splatter-splashed lid is spotless.

Dispel offensive odours from your microwave by placing a thick slice of lemon on a paper towel and microwaving it on high for about a minute and a half.


Cooking Tips

To avoid browning of apples after cutting, apply a little lemon juice on the cut surface. The apples will stay and look fresh for a longer time.
While boiling milk, always add a little water in the vessel to avoid milk from sticking to the bottom.

You can also leave a spoon in the vessel in which the milk is being boiled at low heat so that it does not get burnt at the bottom.

Keep coriander leaves in a muslin cloth bag, in the refrigerator. They will remain fresh for a longer time.

Add a tablespoon of hot oil to homemade pastes of garlic, ginger or green chilli, along with salt to make it last longer and taste fresher.

Remove the stems of green chillies while storing them.This will help them stay fresh for long.

Store raisins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for much longer.

While using ginger and garlic paste in curries, always use garlic at 60% ratio and ginger at 40% as ginger is very strong and will make your dish sharp and pungent.


Grandma's useful Tips

To remove bad breath chew Eliachi (green cardamom) / Sanuf (aniseed) / Laung (Cloves).

Chewing a piece of Laung (clove) after a meal helps in reducing acidity.

Soak seven almonds in water overnight, remove the skin and boil it with a glass of milk and sugar and drink it. Repeat this for 20 - 25 days. It helps enhance memory.

One or two drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief works as a good inhaler if one has a running nose.

A few drops of eucalyptus oil, when added to hot water, provides relief during cold, when inhaled.

A mixture of ginger juice and honey (warmed), if taken before going to bed brings great relief to severe cough.

A mixture of cardamom seeds, a pinch of black salt and a few drops of lemon, taken with luke warm water, provides relief during a stomach ache.

A flake of garlic, swallowed with water, on an empty stomach everyday in the morning can be helpful in providing relief during stomach and gastric problems.

Biting a clove provides relief in toothache.



To remove an ink-stain apply toothpaste on both sides of the ink-stain. Wash after it dries.

For a candle to last longer, place it in a bowl of water.

A mixture of milk and spirit can be helpful in removing ball pen marks from foam leather.

When storing woollen clothes, place dried neem (margo) leaves in them to avoid worms and insects.

To get rid of dandruff, apply a mixture of lemon and coconut oil on your scalp for at least 2 hours
       (twice a week).

 Do not throw away orange peels. Dry and powder it. Add milk or rose water to make a fine paste. Apply on your face for a fresh and glowing skin.

 Do not throw away an old tooth brush, as it can be used for cleaning jewellery, bottles and metals.

 Clean all your silverware with toothpaste. They will sparkle like they were bought yesterday.

To remove grease stains from clothes, sprinkle some talcum powder over the grease as soon as possible. Keep aside for a while & wash with soap and water as usual.

Used tea leaves are good manure for plants.

Oil stains may be removed by rubbing with a piece of lemon dipped in salt. Later wash off with soap.

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