Specialising in
Grey Water
Rainwater Harvesting systems in South Africa .

Surface water in Western Cape could run out by 2016

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 March 2011

The Western Cape’s current surface water supplies could run out by 2016, but plans for alternative sources should by then already be at an advanced stage, City of Cape Town utility services executive director […]

Water sharing scheme for Beaufort West

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 25 November 2010

The drought in the Central Karoo has become so severe that the Beaufort West municipality has introduced a water sharing scheme.

Beaufort West has introduced a water sharing scheme

The town has been divided into 12 areas, in which people will be unable to bath, shower or do laundry for 36 hours at a time.

“Residents in Hospitaalheuwel, Newton and Hooyvlakte were warned on Monday that the water pressure will be low (on Monday) and that they have to make provision by filling up buckets and water containers in advance,” said Hein Rust, head of disaster management in the Central Karoo district municipality.

“As the water table of the boreholes, which provide the town’s water, is so low, we have to lower the water pressure of the residential areas as a temporary emergency measure to decrease water use.

“This means that residents in the areas will not have normal water pressure in their taps from Tuesday 10:00 to Wednesday 20:00. There will be a thin stream for essential use. Continue reading Water sharing scheme for Beaufort West

Taps in Chipinge ran dry 10 years ago

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 12 June 2010

Ambuya Marvelous Mlambo stealthily creeps out of her house to avoid waking her three little grandchildren who are at the lowest ebb of slumber.

She makes her way quietly to the neighbouring borehole armed with her two 25-litre buckets in which she intends to bring some water home. Scores of other women, young and old are already at the borehole when she arrives so she has to join the queue. The time is 12 midnight.

The weather is unruly and very cold so she is wrapped in a very heavy trench coat. The other people are just taking their turns quietly. They have an average of at least three containers each.

When her turn finally comes, it is already three o’clock in the morning. She laboriously fills her containers before making her way home and sneaking in quietly once again to avoid disturbing the sleeping toddlers. An hour later, she becomes part of the snoring that until then had only been coming from the children’s quarters.

It is not long before she is jolted awake by the noise of neighbours rushing to the borehole too. This time it is six o’clock in the morning and she has to get up and prepare something for the children before she sees them off to school.

Gogo Mlambo lives in the Gaza high-density suburb of Chipinge and this is the kind of life she has been living for the past 10 years. Their water taps ran dry leaving them depending on water from springs that are dotted along the banks of a stream that runs along the outskirts of the suburb. Continue reading Taps in Chipinge ran dry 10 years ago

SA mining spends millions to combat water pollution

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 09 June 2010

Mining companies operating in South Africa are lagging behind countries like Australia in terms of waste management, science-based services group DuPont said on Wednesday.

Mine drainage activities

“Mining houses in Australia are taking a more proactive approach and are currently adopting best practices aimed at preventing environmental damage, rather than repairing damage already done,” Carlman Moyo, managing director for DuPont Sub-Saharan Africa said in a statement.

South African mining houses were spending millions of rands combating the growing problem of poor quality water flowing into the environment and causing pollution.

However, the reactive nature of the methods being used was having limited effect on repairing the damage caused.

“It is vital that new waste management strategies are integrated into the core activities of all South African mining organisations in order to prevent future damage,” Moyo said.

Until waste control was integrated deep into the culture of mining organisations, it would not be effective.

“Pollution can be caused by something as uncontrollable as heavy rainfall, flooding or earth tremors.

“In these cases, emergency plans are not enough. and preventative measures need to be in place before things go wrong.” Continue reading SA mining spends millions to combat water pollution

Too much water going to waste - expert

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 21 February 2010

Not one of one of Cape Town’s 26 sewerage plants is working properly. The problem is not so much the quantity of waste that the Mother City’s burgeoning population produces, but rather the volume of water used to transport that waste to the processing plants.

Blue-Green algae deposits at Zeekoeivlei

“There is just too much water arriving at these plants,” says Jeremy Westgarth-Taylor, who has studied the water situation in South Africa over the past 16 years, and is a past winner of a WWF Green Trust Award.

Mr Westgarth-Taylor was addressing guests at a recent “Green Drinks”, a monthly event at which Hout Bay residents share ideas about topical environmental issues.

According to Mr Westgarth-Taylor, the catastrophic poisoning, in 1997, of Wildevoelvlei, the series of pans between the sea and Imhoff’s Gift estate in Kommetjie, was a case in point. A highly toxic blue-green bloom (thought to be algal) formed on the surface of the lakes as a result of wastewater overflowing from a nearby water treatment works. The treated and untreated water had a high concentration of phosphates – a major component of washing powder. To prevent the “blue-greens” from reproducing, SANParks had to turn the lake anoxic (without oxygen), thereby killing an entire generation of organisms.

Even more alarmingly Mr Westgarth-Taylor claims Cape Town has exhausted all damming opportunities on local rivers. Theewaterskloof Dam, which draws on the Dutoits and Riviersonderend rivers, Voelvlei, which drains the mountains west of Tulbagh, and Steenbras Dam above Gordon’s Bay together supply close to 700 million cubic metres to the metropole. Despite the addition of the Berg river scheme just last year the area’s demand for water will out-strip supply in just two years, he says. Continue reading Too much water going to waste – expert