With the recent years’ water issues around Joburg and our sky-high water bill, during our renovation journey in our home, one of the things we set out to do was to try reduce our water bill and also investigate solutions around storing water for the days when we have our supply disrupted.
I have shared our journey here:
After sharing some information and insight on social media, a number of my community asked some questions that I feel need more than a video to answer, so here are some FAQs.
For more information that is not covered below, do visit https://www.jojo.co.za/
I have split these Questions into four categories:
- Municipal Backup
- Rainwater Harvesting
In our home, we have 1 x Municipal Backup Tank and 2 Rainwater Harvesting Tanks and 2 under the counter water filtration systems.
Q: What size tank is ideal for municipal backup?
A: First you need to establish how much water you need for municipal backup. This comes down to how many people are using the water and how long you want the back up to last. Household water consumption in SA varies from 25 to 150 litres per person per day (depending on what the water is used for). The size of the tank required = litres per day X total days back up required.
Q: How long can municipal water be stored in a JoJo?
A: If your tank is properly sealed and is indeed a water tank (with the food-grade black inner lining) then you should be good for a few weeks, as it is chlorinated and safe to store for extended periods. We recommend running the water once every two weeks to rotate the water and ensure the best quality water is available.
Q: What type of foundation/base do I require when installing a JoJo?
A: It needs to be sound, level, smooth and at least 100mm wider than the diameter of your tank. Level paving will suffice, or alternatively a concrete plinth can be built.
Q: Do I need a pump for my backup water system?
A: The water can be accessed via a tap connected to the tank (this means you need to manually fill up a bucket or watering can as and when you need water). For easy access to your stored water, as well as a pressurized solution, we advise adding a pump to your installation. You can use the table on our website as a guide to find the right pump for your application
Q: Is there an easy way to fill up your tank to a pre-determined level whenever required?
A: Yes, there is. Our float valve kit allows for effortless filling with an automatic shut-off. This can either be done manually using a hose, or, for a more permanent and automated solution, you can connect it to your plumbing line.
Q: How do I calculate how much rainwater I can harvest?
A: 1mm of rain on 1m2 of roof surface amounts to 1 litre of water. For example: 5mm of rain on a 100m2 roof = 500 litres of water.
Note: the efficiency will vary depending on roof surface, setup and pre-filtration method used.
Q: What size tank should I use?
A: Every installation is different. We suggest you buy the biggest tank that space, budget and practicality allow (see Rainwater Harvesting Solutions for more detail). The biggest downfall of rainwater harvesting systems is lack of storage capacity.
Q: What is pre-filtration and why do I need it?
A: Pre-filtration improves the quality of the harvested rainwater and protects the pump (if one is included in the installation). Basic rainwater harvesting installations only incorporate a mesh at the top of the tank (underneath the lid) to keep out dust, leaves, mosquitoes etc. Additionally, you can incorporate a rain head (removes larger debris) and a first flush diverter (takes off initial dirty water for every rainfall, improving the quality of water). The more pre-filtration devices installed, the better the quality of the water. For more detail on our range available, click here.
Q: What can I do to keep mosquitoes out of my tank?
A: Mosquitoes love stagnant water, especially rainwater. The best way to keep them out of your tank is to ensure all connections are properly sealed. Mozzie Screens https://www.jojo.co.za/products/tank-mozzie-screen can be fitted to overflows and inlets that are not used as part of the installation to block entry for mosquitoes and other insects, while still allowing water to pass through.
Q: Do I need to filter the water before I can use it?
This will vary based on the application. If the water will be used for non-potable applications such as filling up the pool, watering the garden, washing cars, flushing toilets etc, then you only require pre-filtration (of which a Rainhead will be more than sufficient). Rainwater that is used for full domestic supply, however, needs to be filtered to potable drinking water standards. For this you will require a filter that can remove sediment and particulates, as well as contaminants such as bacteria and other potentially harmful contaminants that could be present in the water.
Q: What do your filters remove?
A: Bacteria, viruses, parasites, sediment, chlorine, medication and more. You can find out more about the filtration media on our website https://www.jojo.co.za/water-filtration-solutions/
Q: When referring to the technology used, you mention Disruptor 5293 PAC-S. What does this mean?
A: Disruptor refers to a breakthrough technology, the first of its kind in SA. It is unique for the following reasons:
- It uses a process called Electro-adsorption to trap and remove viruses, bacteria and various other contaminants.
- It contains Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) to reduce odours and improve the taste of the filtered water.
- It also contains Anti-Microbial Silver (S) to disinfect the filter.
Q: What are the benefits of the Disruptor filter media?
A: Apart from all the sediment, particles and contaminants it removes in order to make your water healthy, safe and great-tasting, the additional benefits include:
It offers very high flow rates at lower pressure drops compared to competing technologies with similar biological removal performance.
It effectively removes pathogens and other contaminants while maintaining “the good stuff”, such as minerals/TDS (total dissolved solids).
As part of the filtration process, no water is wasted.
You can find more information on the Disruptor technology, via this link
Q: How do I know which filter is right for me?
A: The type of filtration solution you require will be determined by your water source, the quality of the water, the desired application and personal preference. For example:
If you want a mobile water solution for everyday use, the Filter Bottle is ideal.
If you want drinking water for your entire family, the Undersink Unit is ideal, especially if you want an out-of-sight solution. If you are renting and don’t want to drill any holes, the Countertop Unit is your perfect solution.
If you camp frequently or need to make use of water stored in a tank of which the quality is uncertain, our Inline Disruptor Filter is a good option.
If you want to filter the water in your entire house, the Whole-House Filter will do just that and has a variety of Filter Cartridge combinations to suit your requirements.
Q: How can I tell if my Filter Cartridge needs to be replaced?
A: Because water quality and volume of consumption varies, filter service life will also vary. Recommended filter use guidelines are provided on the packaging and on our website for each product within our range. This said, the easiest way to tell if your filter needs to be replaced is a drop in pressure.
Q: Can I use your filters to filter my borehole water?
A: Borehole water is slightly trickier than normal rain or municipal water, as there are quite a few things that can contaminate the ground water (for example pesticides in an agricultural area, heavy metals in a mining area, E.coli in areas where there are no sewage services), and it is vital to first test the water to identify what those contaminants are to ensure you choose the right filter for your water source. Once you have tested your water (which we also advise you do every six months or so) you can refer to our website for a detailed list of all the contaminants our Disruptor filter range removes.
Q: Our borehole water has limescale in it, is this something your filtration range can remove?
A: Limescale is a chalky deposit consisting mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which often builds up in appliances that use hot water. This is often referred to as “hard water”. The concern around hard water is really an aesthetic one, not so much a health issue, and appliances don’t love it! Our Disruptor range is very good at removing pathogens and bacteria but does not remove any of the minerals as part of the filtering process and thus will not remove limescale from the water. We do, however, have a Corrosion and Scale Inhibitor in our range that conditions the water by changing the composition in order to prevent scaling from building up in your pipes and fixtures. For more detail on this product, you can go to our website.
Q: Do I need a JoJo tank for my borehole, or can I just pump the water straight into my house from my borehole?
A: Yes, you do require a water tank in between the supply from the borehole to your house. Borehole pumps are made to start, pump water over a distance for a period of time, and then switch off. They are not designed for switching on and off constantly for short periods of time and if used in this manner could result in the pump burning out eventually. We advise that you use a borehole pump to pump the water from your borehole to your tank for temporary storage, and then pump the water from your tank to your house with a pressure pump that has been designed to do just that.
Q: What type of pump is required from my tank to my house that can mimic municipal pressure?
A: A variable speed drive (VSD) pump is ideal as it kicks in slowly and adjusts the speed at which it runs according to your pressure requirements. This ensures minimal energy is being used while providing you with a constant pressure supply. You can view our range of VSD pumps on our website for more detailed information.