Soak pits and soak wells at Mundaka and Sakarpuri, in Mewat district, Haryana


Location: Mundaka and Sakarpuri, Mewat, Haryana
Scale: Community
Implementing organisation: Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), Plot No.34, Sector 44, Institutional Area Gurgaon, Haryana - 122002 INDIA
Tel : +91-124-4744100 Fax : +91-124-4744123

Operational since : March 2012
Capital cost : Rs 1,35,000 for Mundaka and Rs. 27000 for Sakarpuri


Soak-pit and soak-wells were designed by IRRAD in 2012 in Mundaka and Sakarpuri villages. The major focus of this plan was to manage wastewater of these villages. For years, wastewater (kitchen and bathroom) from houses had been flowing out to kachha streets making the area water-logged. During the rains, it would get worse and there were complains of people falling and slipping in addition to hygiene issues and mosquito related diseases. Community and household level meetings are organised in the targeted villages to sensitise and mobilise the inhabitants about the risks of water borne disease and the necessity of treating wastewater.

IRRAD planned and aided in the implementation of soak-pits and soak-wells to deal with this issue. The inhabitants built the structures themselves as these have been built for each household’s wastewater.  They also clean the soak-pit themselves in every ten to fifteen days.

Village Inhabitants Households Soak pits Soak wells
Mundaka 895 124 47 2
Sakarpuri 667 109 18 0
IRRAD has designed this system for recharging groundwater. These systems are:
  1. Soak wells (for cluster level)
  2. Soak pits (for household level)

The pits are circular in shape of a diameter and depth of 1m (minimum) each, suitable for sandy soil. However, the size varies due to the type of soil and amount of wastewater generation. The form of wastewater generated in these areas is predominantely organic and biodegradable in nature. It is free of chemicals and phosphates since inhabitatnts use only oil based washing soaps due to lack of water.

Wastewater percolates through the filter materials in the soak pits. Layers of filter materials of different sizes are laid consisting of sand, broken brick bats and half brick size stones.

As the risk of contamination of groundwater is low, simple soak pits are efficient to treat wastewater. In addition, the problem of water-logging has also been tackled with the help of these pits.


Lalit Mohan Sharma
Group Leader, Natural Resource Management