Water Problem in Delhi

Water Problem in Delhi

We’ve been having problems with our water, lately, and yesterday, that meant washing clothes and taking a bath with water that smelled like a cross between rusted metal and sewage.

I don’t know the science of how it works… But when I flip a switch at a certain time every night, magically, clean water fills our water tank on the rooftop. It’s not suitable for drinking, but it’s clean and has no strange smell. We use this water for washing dishes, washing clothes, and taking baths.

It is my understanding that not everyone has the luxury of getting this clean water magically delivered to their water tank.

We order separate drinking water, delivered by a young man we call our pani wala. It comes in 20 litre bottles, and in the summer, two bottles can last about two days. In the colder months, however, our two bottles last about five days.

Once every couple of weeks, these past two months, we’ve noticed a strange smell when we turn on the motor that fills our water tank full of water. This leaves us no choice but to switch our motor from the usually clean water, to the awful salty ground water.

The ground water smells a bit like metal, and is so harsh, it damages hair, skin, and teeth (if you brush with it). Soap no longer lathers, with this water. If you are unfortunate enough to get some on your lips, you will taste salt.

Hopefully tomorrow, the clean water will return, and we can wash clothes and dishes (and take a bath) as usual.

If you have anything to add to this, or would like to enlighten me on how the water works around here, please feel free to comment. ~


9 thoughts on “Water Problem in Delhi

  1. I have lived all my life in Government flats in south delhi since my father was a government servant. There we never had to bother about quality of water, tap water was good enough. We drank the tap water and water purifier was unheard off. I still remember the taste, it was sweet. Ofcourse, in Government colonies, government takes care of the roads, electricty and infrastructure. In the central and south delhi the places where all the Government officials and VIPs live, things are good unlike the rest of Delhi.

    Then we shifted to Dwarka and discovered that water has differnt types, There is ground water, supply water, sweet water, salty water. The ground water as you say is like golgappa water. Water is still a mystery for me as it is for you. There are strains on utensils, floor and pipes get rusted. We do have a Reverse Osmosis plant in our society which reduces the salinity of the water to some extent. Earlier we had a RO purfier but used to get damaged due to salty water and maintenance was costly. We do have a separate tank for supply water which is sweet. Then water tankers are summoned and water is mixed with ground water.

    Water and electricity is very complicated in Delhi. If you get good water and electricity in India consider youself lucky. I thinki the switch that you mention is connected to the supply water pipe which has slighty better quality water.


  2. Use ‘kent water softener’ in bathroom tap for bathing/washing cloth stuff, ‘water purifier/RO’ for drinking water (same as bottled water but I found it convenient and cheaper). Have more of lemon/electrolytes considering usual water in Delhi post-purification is a confused entity in terms of mineral composition.


    1. Ooh thanks, I didn’t know water softeners existed. We hope to get a purifier / RO some day! My husband is complaining about constantly paying for water, but it’s our only option right now, as we never have enough money for an RO at one time.
      Thanks for weighing in!


      1. ro system is expensive to maintain and the salty water destroys the equipment inside. besides it wastes a lot of water. I would suggest that u buy a storage purifier like Usha Brita and fill it with supply water. The purifier has a indicater which turns red once the battery inside needs to be changed which is once in three months. We fill our purifier with supply water. my idea is supply water is good but needs further purification.

        what is most important it is cheap and does not need electricity.


  3. I like learning about it, but of course you know I have no useful information to input. The description is seemingly unpleasant, to say the least. May your magic good water forever replenish in your favor!


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