Simple fitting relays grey water to garden

2016-02-03 06:00
THE WaterWarrior is a fitting that attaches to the drainpipe that carries your bath ­water into the drain. But instead of letting the water flow away into the sewerage system, the WaterWarrior enables you to attach your garden hose to the drain outlet and relay the bath water to your garden.

THE WaterWarrior is a fitting that attaches to the drainpipe that carries your bath ­water into the drain. But instead of letting the water flow away into the sewerage system, the WaterWarrior enables you to attach your garden hose to the drain outlet and relay the bath water to your garden.

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HOW many times a week do you take a shower, a bath, wash your dishes, your clothing or brush your teeth? You pay for all of the water used Z and it runs down the drain.

A new patent developed by a Bloemfontein company specialising in green projects, enables households to re-use their grey water to irrigate gardens and even produce their own food – at a very low cost.

Grey water is water that has been used in residential areas, except for the toilet.

Examples would be the water used for washing clothes or bathing.

The WaterWarrior, developed by local architecht Esther Jacobs of Slightly Greenish, is a fitting that attaches to the drainpipe carrying your bath water into the drain.

But instead of letting the water flow away into the sewerage system, the WaterWarrior enables you to attach your garden hose to the drain outlet and it then relays the water to your garden.

Jacobs says she came upon the idea for the WaterWarrior while working on a green project in Kutlwanong in the Free State Goldfields. The project trained members of the community to grow vegetables in a sustainable manner.

“I immediately realised that township communities faced a number of challenges to water their vegetable gardens and started thinking of cheaper and easier ways to irrigate these gardens. It was obvious that re-using wash water was the logical thing to do.”

She researched existing grey water systems, but they were expensive and difficult to install, needing a pump and special tank. It was also not practical to water the vegetable gardens with buckets of water saved from household use, because the buckets were heavy to carry out to the garden all the time.

“Then I looked at existing irrigation fittings to see if I could build a coupling between the drain pipe and a hosepipe.”

Four prototypes and a lot of research and experimentation followed, before she was satisfied that she had a viable product. The WaterWarrior is made from sturdy PVC plastic and designed to fit standard-sized drain pipes. It costs around R100 and will be available from retail outlets such as Hinterland and from March, also at Pick n Pay.

Slightly Greenish also has a web page, www.slightlygreenish.co.za, where one can find more information about the WaterWarrior.

An outreach project was started in partnership with Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (Sage) to install WaterWarriors in township homes as part of a food project.

Housholds participating in the project receives a WaterWarrior and a growthpack which enable them to grow about 35 kg of spinach – just by watering their vegetable patches with their own bath water.

Jacobs explains that up to 33% of our household water is grey water and an average household can save up to R180 per month by re-using their grey water.

South Africa is a water-scarce country and the cost of procuring and purifying water is going to increase substantially over the next few years, Jacobs warns.

According to water experts a whopping R293 billion needs to be spent over the next five years, otherwise South Africa will face a looming water crisis.

“By using the WaterWarrior we can have a massive positive impact on these detrimental figures and not just make a difference nationally, but also globally.”

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