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Cape Town may be upgraded to tougher water restrictions

On Thursday the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee requested that council implement more severe water restrictions at its sitting next week.

The mayoral committee proposed a plan to upgrade the current Level 3 water restrictions to Level 3B because of diminishing dam levels and unnecessary residential water usage.

Mayoral committee member councillor Xanthea Limberg said that although many residents have been prime examples of water ambassadors, the city has not met its water usage target because of less conscientious residents.

“We will continue to take action against these culprits and will target the city’s top 20 000 high water users – the majority of whom reside in formal areas of the metro.”

“We are committed to bringing this group to book. They are scuppering all of our efforts to bring down water usage,” said Limberg.

In the meantime, water restrictions may become stricter.

If Level 3B water restrictions are implemented, residents will only be allowed to water their gardens on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 with a bucket or watering can.

This is grim compared to the current Level 3 water restrictions which do not limit residents to watering their gardens during certain times.

Residents will also have to wait for 48 hours before they water their gardens after rainfall, as opposed to the current 24 hours, and they won’t be allowed to wash their boats or vehicles at all, even with a bucket or watering can.

If council approves this suggestion, it will be implemented from February 1, 2017.

Source: news24

Recycling system enables First Car Rental to cut water usage

The Cape Town depot of First Car Rental has reduced municipal water usage by nearly 80% since installing the eWasha Washbay Water Recycling Plant.
eWasha is a revolutionary car wash system that recycles used carwash water through a chemical-free, biological treatment process and then pumps it back into the carwash system. A rainwater storage system is installed in conjunction to this, further reducing the need for municipal water.

The eWasha system has also recently been commissioned at First Car Rental’s Pomona depot in Johannesburg and King Shaka Airport depot in Durban, with plans under way to use the recycled water in the toilet systems as well.

Recycling system enables First Car Rental to cut water usage
click to enlarge
“Water is precious and we all have to do our bit to conserve South Africa’s resources. The eWasha Washbay system will have a profound impact on water conservation and is certainly the way forward,” says Melissa Storey, executive head of Marketing and Strategy for First Car Rental.
Source: Bizcommunity

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SA-made solar toilets a breakthrough in sanitation, dignity

The greenest school in Gauteng is the modest establishment at Orefile Primary School in Olievenhoutbosch. It is now the site of a breakthrough toilet installation that provides flush sanitation with minimal water usage – and it’s all designed, developed and manufactured right here in South Africa.

Mustek decided to sponsor the toilets as part of its CSI initiative, but the implications of the technology go way beyond the comfort and dignity of the 120 schoolchildren at Orefile: it has the potential to help preserve South Africa’s scarce water resources while saving millions on the construction of expensive sewerage reticulation.

The toilets are powered by a small solar panel that drives the two pumps contained in the sealed unit. Orefile is no stranger to solar technology, as this already supplies its electricity, while the school itself is built from environmentally-friendly razor board and waste water is re-used for other purposes.

“When we add the new solar toilets, it becomes even more interesting and challenging,” says Clever Shukwambani, Principal at Orefile Primary School.

Michael Cassidy, head of Renewable Energy at Mustek, explains that the technology distributor has a division focusing on photo-voltaic solutions.

“We wanted to give renewable energy some exposure and we came across this new technology: the solar-powered toilets. It’s a unique and different concept and we decided to sponsor a school.” The total investment, to install four structures and toilets at Orefile, was R50 000.00.

The SmartSan sanitation system was designed and developed by Professor Mulalo Doyoya and Jurgen Graupe specifically to meet the needs of the emerging market, where the infrastructure to provide traditional flush toilets is often not in place.

Prof Doyoyo explains that one of the biggest challenges with most traditional sanitation systems – whether regular flush toilets or mobile toilets – is what to do with the waste. “You have to dump it somewhere,” he says.

With the SmartSan system, biotechnology is used to process the waste within the unit itself. “It’s a mini waste treatment plant,” Prof Doyoyo says.

How it works is that the unit is installed as a closed system with either two or three tanks, depending upon the installation. The system recycles toilet flush water so it doesn’t have to be connected to municipal water, while rain water can be accommodated as well in the cistern supply tank.

A combination of biological anaerobic process and nano-filtering are used to clean the water once the toilet is used and flushed. The nano-filtration system ensures 100% removal of all dissolved contaminants such as nitrates, nitrites and phosphates in the filtered water, while the disinfection of the nano filter ensure the destruction of any possible harmful pathogens.

A ventilation system cap ensures removal of all possible odours, and there is no danger of leakage so water-borne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea or malaria cannot be spread.

The whole system requires very little maintenance, while the solar panel means it is independent from any external power supply.

More importantly, the SmartSan system uses just 600 litres of water per year, compared to a typical household usage of 32 000 litres per year used to flush the toilet.

Not only does the SmartSan system address a critical need for sanitation in a way that is sensitive to the realities of a water-scarce and infrastructure-poor country – because it is developed and manufactured in South Africa it is keeps vital intellectual property (IP) on our shores, while providing jobs and keeping the money in the economy. There are also export opportunities to countries that experience similar challenges.

The two partners started developing the systems in 2007, and have installed 1 300 units to date. Most of the sales were initially in the private sector, but the Free State Provincial Government has started using the toilets in its bucket eradication programme, and about 1 000 units have been installed so far.

Source: Environment Africa


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