Water cuts and water supply reduction is our reality at the moment in many parts of the country. Not only that but according to Rand Water, in South Africa the scarce fresh water is decreasing in quality because of an increase in pollution and the destruction of river catchments, caused by urbanisation, deforestation, damming of rivers, destruction of wetlands, industry, mining, agriculture, energy use, and accidental water pollution. As the human population increases, there is an increase in pollution and catchment destruction.
With the recent Cholera outbreak in some parts of South Africa and the constant rainstorms, the issue of safe drinking water and water scarcity has been something that has occupied my mind quite a bit lately. To be honest one of the recurring questions on my mind is how is South Africa heading towards water scarcity when it literally pours with rain every other day?
The truth is we have very bad water usage habits in this country. Those of you who have been following my journey on Instagram @Olwe2Lesh may be aware that before AoS agreed to partner with JoJo in spearheading these conversations, the Leshabane household had installed a vertical water storage tank from JoJo for rainwater harvesting. This was the best decision we ever made.
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Rainwater harvesting is an ancient practice that some of us may have seen our grandparents utilise in rural areas. The term ‘water harvesting’ generally refers to the collection of rainstorm-generated runoff water from one’s roof gutter or in our case the catchment on top of our vertical storage tank. Because of pollution and dirt that may collect in the roof gutters or whatever catchment contraption you utilise to harvest your water it is not advisable to use rainwater for drinking purposes unless you have a proper filtration process and as we can see from the recent Cholera scare it is no easy feat. In our household, we use our harvest to water our plants, top up our pool and wash our car. Harvested rainwater can also be used to wash your laundry, toilet flushing, showers, and animals.
Some Other Benefits to Harvesting Rainwater?
- Reduces water bill; those water rates can be pretty steep and I don’t know about you? But I can surely do with a little extra savings.
- Decreases the demand on our municipalities for water – I am all about playing my part in circumventing potential water shedding.
- Helps promote water and energy conservation.
- Will improve both the quality and quantity of our groundwater.
- Will not require a filtration system if used for landscape irrigation only.
- Relatively simple, easy to install and operate.
I can almost hear someone thinking this is too good to be true, there has got to be some disadvantages to this. And there are, but trust me when I say the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
The Few Disadvantages
- Depending on what system you use, regular maintenance may be required.
- If not installed correctly, it can attract mosquitoes and cause some waterborne diseases.
- The installation process does require some technical skills but that’s why I highly recommend going the JoJo Tanks route because they handle all of that for you.
- The most significant drawback to the rainwater harvesting system is storage limits and unpredictability as we are relying on nature and sometimes that means dealing with drought and preparing ahead for the non-rainy seasons.
Grey Water Harvesting
The average South African household (Family of 4) uses between 300 – 400 liters of water daily and sadly a large majority of that water is going to waste. This is where Greywater harvesting comes in.
Greywater harvesting is when we collect our bath, shower, washing machine, and bathroom basin water and feed it into a 50-litre drum that has a microfilter. To learn more about this harvesting method click here.
Let’s Talk About Safe & Affordable Drinking Water
As I mentioned earlier, parts of South Africa are currently faced with Cholera. The reality is it is no longer safe for us to consume tap water without some kind of filtration system attached to it. We unfortunately can no longer rely on simply boiling our water before consuming it. While the idea of investing in a filtration system might sound expensive, the expense pales in comparison to purchasing bottled water: for example a 6 pack of bottled water can cost anything between R30 – R90 times that by thirty-one days you’re at R930 – R2700. That’s R11,160 – R33,480 a year!
As Water Sommelier Candice Jansen often points out, most bottled water is just modified/filtered tap water. Purchasing a JoJo Disruptor Filter of your choice is not only the most economically viable option but also ensures that your mind is at ease knowing that you are in control of the quality of water that your family is consuming.
JoJo Disruptor filters retail at a once off price of R1787 – R5004 including filter cartridges. Countertop or undersink Disruptor filter cartridges filter up to 3000 – litres of water while the Whole-house filter cartridge only needs to be changed after 80 kiloliters. Filter cartridges cost between R239 – R2740.
Keep up with the water conversation on social media by following the hashtag #MakeYourHomeJoJo