The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has asked builders and real estate developers to use treated water from city’s sewage treatment plants (STPs) at their construction site instead of underground water.
The civic body has also initiated process to make it mandatory for builders to used treated water at under construction sites in the future.
RMC is also in talks with various industries, including the ceramic units of Morbi and sari industry in Jetpur, to sell them treated water. It has also held discussions with industrial association of Lodhika, Shapar and other industrial estates.
There are five STPs in Rajkot that treat 115 million litter per day (MLD) sewage water. Two other STPs, with total capacity of 95 MLD, are under construction.
RMC top brass held a meeting with the Rajkot Builders Association (RBA) on Wednesday and convinced its members to use treated water at construction sites.
Municipal commissioner Banchha Nidhi Pani said, “The Morbi ceramic association had approached us for supply of treated water. We have approached other industrial clusters and asked them to use this treated water. This will also generate income for RMC.”
RMC plans to charge Rs 14.30 per 1,000 litre treated water.
Paresh Gajera, president of the Rajkot Builders Association, said, “We have been asked to use treated water from STPs at construction site. We have agreed to it.”
The quality of treated water and its use in construction have also raised some questions on feasibility.
Rajesh Kesaria, former secretary of Association of Consulting Civil Engineers Rajkot, said “We have to do some tests on the water before using it for construction. Water, cement, sand and grit form an important part of slab casting which gives strength to the building. If there is any chemical reaction between cement and treated water, the building could become weak.”
“The other question is how to store the water at construction site and how to convince the buyer that the building constructed using treated water is safe,” he added.
Some industrial units are also apprehensive about the supply issue as there is no pipeline network and use of tankers could prove costly.
Raju Hirpara, president of Jetpur Sari Industries Association, said, “We are facing water shortage and if we get STP water of quality that we can use we will be more than happy to buy from RMC. But we have to figure out how it will reach us.”
Apart from the industries, RMC is also mulling to use the treated water for gardening, nursery, car washing and other purposes.