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May 22, 2009

A dry borewell, water logging elsewhere

Filed under: India, nature — Tags: , , — neosurya @ 01:02

Last Saturday, I got our borewell in Hyderabad tested for water. There had been no water coming through it for the past couple of years. Parents were obviously concerned, and it had to be fixed. Interestingly, it is rather trivial to dismantle your average household bore whose motor is above ground. It is much more difficult to dismantle submersible pumps where the motor is below ground level [1]. In ground level pumps, there is a long pipe going from the motor that is on the ground through a 100-150 feet hole into the earth. The motor pulls the water through this pipe, and a filter at the bottom of the pipe (called “foot fall”) prevents sand and dirt from getting in with the water. The man at the local borewell store said that there could be two issues: The bore went dry as in no groundwater at the footfall, the footfall got damaged with rust or dirt.

Two workers and the borewell store owner got to our house in the afternoon, and removed the motor from its foundation on the ground. They separated the bore pipes from the pump. They then pulled at the pipes like they was playing a game of tug-of-ropes with the earth. The earth lost out without even a decent fight and out came the pipe – all 100 feet of it. As the last end of the pipe came out, the glorious footfall appeared. It looked like a filter made of cloth and metal. There was no rust, and marginal dirt. There was not even a drop of water on the footfall. When one  digs about ten feet into the ground, the soil feels a little damp. The cloth tied at the end of the foot fall was completely dry. It took about half an hour for them to dismantle the entire system and diagnose the problem. At our house, there was no groundwater at 100 feet.

The owner exclaimed that almost everyone in the vicinity of our house had bores going upto 300 feet. It would cost about Rs 70-100K getting such a bore done. We considered our options and decided against it. Besides, in about a couple more years, we would have people digging bores upto a thousand feet. In the evening there was a family discussion about the borewell. Someone joked that we may reach the other end of earth as we dig our bores. Or better still, an enterprising guy could someday find oil in Anand bagh.

Elsewhere in the city, there are water logging problems. When my in-laws were dropping me at the Kacheguda rlwy station, my FIL lamented that certain parts will be water logged when rains hit us, and at the same time our locality does not have water. I noticed that not one person had left any sort of setback in their homes. Setback is a gap of about 5-10 feet between walls of the residential house and the compound walls. It is equivalent to the lawn in front of US homes. Most metros in India have clear rules about keeping setbacks. Setbacks allow rain water to seep back into the ground, replenishing ground water for one, and also preventing water logging by taking away the heavenly downpour to where it needs to go (into the earth) . We have about 5-10 feet of setback on different sides of our house; many people seldom have setbacks in Hyd. In Bangalore, it is even worse. I recently visited a house worth Rs 1.4 crore; the guy there had left about 1.5 foot of setback, and had aptly concertized even that space.

Today, there was flooding in Koramangala. Sure enough; it would be all over the media. The residents would crib hajaar about how the storm drains got stuck and the water was logged. Everyone would lay blame on everyone else. Excellent solutions for rain water harvesting are available [1], and now it is even compulsory [2].

BTW, I also wonder if the loss of ground water in our area is related to the coca-cola plant that is located barely a 2 Kms. away from our house. Further reading by me showed that a deep bore about 2Kms away may reduce water table, but cannot be responsible for completely drying up the ground water.



  1. […] who walks the often trudged path. BTW, folks who got till here would like to read my other post on dry borewells in hyderabad. Leave a […]

    Pingback by Water in the market « Back to Bharat — July 17, 2009 @ 22:35

  2. Hi Sir/Madam,

    you are giving very important information about borewells in hyderabad, In hyderabad so many

    areas are suffering from lack of sufficient water because your information is very useful to



    Comment by Borewells in Hyderabad — October 15, 2013 @ 10:32

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