by Janice Anderssen
As water restrictions continue around the country, and water shortages loom on the horizon, there’s never been more incentive to install a water tank for rainwater or greywater harvesting.
Water conservation is being seen in a new light all over the world as we become increasingly aware that water is a threatened natural resource. Not only should we be seriously looking at rainwater harvesting, but also be considering alternatives such as greywater harvesting. We all have to commit to reducing the growing pressures on our natural resources.
As homeowners become frustrated with water delivery issues caused by burst pipes due to failing infrastructure, disruption in service delivery, water tanks provide an emergency backup. An increasing number of homeowners are looking to implement a basic buffer at the lowest possible cost and water storage tanks offer an affordable solution.
Generated daily in every household, almost 60% of household water is re-usable as grey water. The average family of 4 uses around 940 litres of water per day (315 840 litres per annum) and almost 90% of that water simply leaves the home as wastewater. Added to this, approximately 60% of that household water which leaves the home as wastewater can be reused as grey water and it is perfect to water gardens, wash cars and driveways and flush toilets.
The basic sources of usable greywater are showers, baths, hand basins and washing machines. This greywater can be harvested using greywater harvesting system. Re-using greywater results in money savings in the long term, reduces the need to use expensive potable municipal water for non-potable uses is good news in the face of potentially increasing water prices, not to mention a reduction in our carbon footprint.
Greywater harvesting describes the installation of a tank and / or drum that provides the opportunity for reusing household greywater for various applications. The simplest greywater system consists of gravity feeding water to an underground sump (this could be a 50L JoJo drum placed in an enclosure with an inspection cover) where it passes through a macro filter to remove hair fluff and lint and is immediately pumped or drip-irrigated into the garden. With this system the greywater must be utilised within 24 hours. If stored for longer, it changes into blackwater, developing an offensive odour and becoming foul.
A more sophisticated system is where the water is pumped into an above ground tank, passing through a Venturi valve that injects ozone into the greywater, to clean and disinfect. This system allows greywater storage for a much longer period of time, making it more practical and user friendly. To ensure this type of system is installed correctly, have a professional do it for you.
The simplest form of rainwater harvesting is the installation of a storage tank above-ground linked to gutters or downpipes. This tanks fills up automatically when it rains. An above-ground storage tank offers free water supply (whenever it rains). Above-ground tanks can be easily connected to guttering through simple pipe networks, meaning the tank automatically accumulates when it rains.
By collecting the rainwater that falls onto roofs of houses and retaining it before it can seep into the water table, homeowners can become more self-sufficient, as well as reduce the energy costs associated with the treatment and delivery of an equivalent volume of municipal water.
An underground storage system offers to advantage of maximum space efficiency and a discreet, out-of-sight solution to rainwater harvesting.
Both rainwater harvesting systems offer water that is suitable for irrigation, watering gardens, topping up a swimming pool, washing cars and driveways, etc.
People have always thought that South Africa is a water secure country. But we need to respect water and use it sparingly. With experts predicting that South Africa’s demand for water will exceed its supply by 2025, making better use of our water resources through rainwater collection and enhanced storage and management through water storage solutions, will become a critical part of a more sustainable future.
As one of the leading suppliers of rainwater and greywater storage systems, JoJo Tanks products are available at suppliers around the country. Visit the www.jojotanks.co.za website for more information on their products and to find a local installer.