Gravity Flow (Fed) Water Supply System or GFWSS for short uses gravity to get clean water from a spring at the top of a hill to the village at the bottom.
VJNNS has adopted this to provide potable water to remote villages in and around Visakhapatnam. A Micro Level Plan (MLP) is developed by the VJNNS Team with the help of villagers. Villagers are asked questions, measuring the distance to the spring and working out whether a GFWSS would even work in the village. It has all the information about the village like the village profile, village social map, its resource map, the proposed spring details, materials required, training plan to the villagers and the justification for constructing a GFWSS. The information collected is then analysed and a plan drafted.
This plan is then taken to the local council to prove GFWSS would solve the water problem of the villagers. Once the council agrees to help, it is for the people to agree to take part in 'Shramadan'. 'Shramadan' is the promise that villagers make to carry out building work. VJNNS provides the tools and materials like cement, sandbags, stones, iron rods, pebbles, pipes and bricks that are needed.
A tank is built up of stone, to protect the spring where the water comes out of the ground. Then a huge tank is built which filters and stores the water and is connected to different taps in the village. A three chamber distribution tank is built. The inlet valve goes deep into the first chamber and water fills in from bottom to top passing through concrete slab, sand and pebbles. After this; the water flows to second chamber and flows again through sand, pebbles, and concrete slab, passing on from bottom to the third chamber. Lastly; stand posts are built, to which the taps are attached. The third chamber is connected to stand posts through pipes. The spring provides safe water all year round and is stored in the tank and piped to the standpost outside houses. There is also a overflow pipe on top of the third chamber in the distribution tank so that the water is purified naturally and all impurities are suspended in the pebble sand filter.
A Community Action Group (CAG) or Village Development Committee (VDC) is formed for the overall village development. Training programs are conducted at the VJNNS office before and after the GFWSS construction. This is further explained by the VDC members to all the other villagers. The maintenance of the tank is done by the villagers themselves. They add chlorine to the distribution tank at pre-designated intervals. A village development fund (VDF) is also raised to fund the purchase of any items if it gets damaged. Each family contributes towards this purpose and one member from CAG will deposit the money in a bank as it is the responsibility of the villagers to protect this system so that they can access clean water at all times.