Innovation in the water arena is one of our most crucial needs now as climate change threatens our water resources in a fast escalating fashion, especially here in Africa. Being more water-efficient and wise will help sustain our quality of life. It also means less money out of our pockets, as less available fresh water means rising costs.
Yet the typical home is set up to unnecessarily use precious fresh water for numerous functions where used water would suffice. Then, once used, down the drain it flows, when it could and should rather be re-used.
What measures can we take to be as water-efficient as possible at home? This month we have discovered a good solution – Water Conservation Systems.
Their name says it all. They started in the industry 10 years ago through marketing and installing irrigation and rainwater harvesting products. Hence Water Conservation Systems have built up a wealth of knowledge and experience in local and international products aimed at saving water in our homes and gardens. With a range of top-quality innovative ideas they have sourced worldwide and brought to South Africa, the company boasts no less than three awards won at last year’s Sandton Green Expo for the following:
- the simple and effective G-Flow greywater system,
- the excellent Redwater diverter
- exhibiting “the stand with the Most Innovative Products on”
No need to waste greywater
Greywater is wastewater generated from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing, which can be re-used on-site for purposes such as landscape irrigation. Capturing and storing rainwater and greywater in tanks for future use is a great idea, though it does come without its own pros and cons.
The unhealthy spills associated with the hand bucketing method, the foul odours created by the sludge accumulating in tanks, the potential for mosquitoes breeding in the septic water stored, as well as the relatively high unhygienic maintenance requirements of the filters have all contributed to the negative views that are associated with Grey Water reuse. Some health authorities have denounced this method as hazardous.
The G-Flow grey water diversion system bypasses all of these risks very effectively and is one of the cleanest grey water diversion systems available. It is also the only grey water system on the South African market that boasts both WaterMark and IAPMO certification (International Association of Plumbing & Maintenance officials).
The 8 years spent on developing the system has resulted in a safe, easy to install, clean, tankless, robust and reliable technology that meets the most stringent environmental health and safety requirements.
Nifty system resolves all the pitfalls
When combined with the specially designed GF Drip line (pictured above), it automatically cleans, diverts and disperses the bath, shower or laundry water into the garden via the Drip Line and GF Rotor (irrigation controller) system (pictured below). Every time a person baths, showers or does the laundry, the energy-efficient vortex pump starts automatically and sends the water to your drip line irrigation system.
This is a superior choice for many reasons:
- the water is released slowly under the soil surface which means no evaporation
- maximum absorption by the plants
- smelly germs and bacteria from the greywater that might otherwise become airborne through a sprinkler system are not exposed
Another great advantage of using the G-Flow Drip Line System is the rotor which can handle up to 6 watering zones. This means no more monitoring your garden in order to periodically move the sprinkler. The system will automatically water each zone sequentially.
Precious water down the tubes
Another product I find very fascinating is the Redwater Diverter. I’m always very conscious of the vast amounts of water that are wasted every time I turn the hot water tap on and have to wait for far too long before the cold water (or redwater) becomes warm. All of that precious water down the tubes!
The Diverter is an easily retrofitted device which automatically diverts the cold water to a location of your choice, be it a rainwater tank, a storage tank, a garden, a pool or to livestock water, etc, and then immediately allows the water through the tap again once it becomes warm. An average household can unconsciously waste up to 16,000 litres of water in a year and I think this product is a must-have in any household. Just have it fitted, and continue as normal – no behavioural changes on your side.
These are only two examples of the innovative options available through Water Conservation Systems which are designed to make it easy for you to become more water- and pocket-wise.
By Dylan Barsby