Rainwater harvesting: waste not, want no


Rainwater harvesting doesn’t have to entail a fancy, hi-tech system that nobody can afford – there are basic ways to supplement your municipal water supply, even for low-cost housing


As people become increasingly aware of water as a scarce and threatened natural resource, they need to look at the age-old proven, the rainwater-harvesting tank. It is cost-effective, easy-to-install, and makes it really easy to reduce the growing pressures on this fragile natural resource. In the previous editions we looked at water treatment and storage, now it’s time to conclude the water series with a feature on water recycling – focusing on rainwater harvesting in particular.

Read more: Rainwater harvesting: waste not, want no

Water storage: the right tank for the job

By: Ilana Koegelenberg – assistant editor

In the previous edition we looked at water treatment, now it’s time to take it one step further and investigate water storage. In the second of this three-part series, we look at the various options available for water storage – safe water storage.

 Technology is advancing rapidly and there are a lot of new developments in the water storage arena. What different material options for tanks are available and how must each be maintained for optimal results? From an efficiency point of view to a health point of view – what are the dos and don’ts of water storage?

Read more: Water storage: the right tank for the job

Treat your water right

By: Ilana Koegelenberg – assistant editor

Whether you’re treating rainwater or waste water, grey or black (or whichever other colour) – it’s important that you leave it to the professionals

As we all become ever more aware of our country’s water scarcity issues with the passing time, water treatment is taking off in popularity. But never mind just the fact that we’re fast running out of water, the water we do have, isn’t as reliable as it used to be as municipalities struggle to keep up with urbanisation (and a plethora of other reasons/excuses). More and more people are moving away from the grid, becoming self-sufficient, taking water treatment into their own hands. From rainwater harvesting to onsite black and grey water treatment plants – it’s all about sustainability and saving as much money as possible these days. But no matter where your water comes from, if not treated properly, the consequences can be severe. A job best left to the professionals.

Read more: Treat your water right

World Plumbing Day – 11 March

World Plumbing Day was born with a purpose to educate people about the work our industry does every day to conserve the world’s increasingly overstretched sources of drinking water, and to promote energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable sources of energy – after all, electricity generation uses water too!

The United Nations (UN) declared 2005-2015 the International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, setting a world agenda that focuses increased attention on water-related issues. This initiative is of extraordinary importance in a world where preventable diseases related to water and sanitation claim the lives of about 3,1 million people per year, most of them children under the age of five. Of these, about 1,6 million people die each year of diarrhoeal diseases associated with lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

Read more: World Plumbing Day – 11 March

War on leaks!

By: Joanne Taylor – senior staff writer

Somewhat different to the US President Barack Obama’s take on ‘War on Leaks’, the South African government has embarked on a campaign to reduce non-revenue water to help conserve the precious element

Government has embarked on a campaign to reduce water leaks at municipal level by partnering with bulk water supplier Rand Water to train unskilled people to detect and fix leaks within the municipalities they operate in.

This campaign is based on a study that was released in March 2013 by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in conjunction with the Water Research Commission (WRC). They calculated that 1,58 billion cubic metres of supplied water is unaccounted for each year, which translates into yearly losses of R7,2 billion.

Read more: War on leaks!

The NBR and the provision of water

By: Alan Cohen (originally published on www.ecobuildonlne.co.za)

Section 17(h) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 (the NBRS Act) empowers the minister to make National Building Regulations (NBRs), including regulations “regarding the provision of water and of sewerage and drainage services in respect of buildings, including the compulsory connection with the supply, distribution, or sewerage disposal works in question of local authorities”.

Read more: The NBR and the provision of water

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