Students invent greywater system

2018-07-04 06:02
The CUT engineering students team that worked with inventors of the device for greywater recycling with the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, are from the left Dr Izabeth Conradie (Enactus Business Advisory Board member), Prudence Mo-cwiri, Sebabatso Skhosana, Polo Sengoara, Lehlohonolo Bahumi, Chaun van der Boom, Beyers Janse van Rensburg, Thembisile Tyopo, Thabo Olivier (Enactus Business Advisory Board member), Maraka Lefera and Prof. Crispen Chipunza (Enactus CUT Faculty advisor). Photos: Supplied

The CUT engineering students team that worked with inventors of the device for greywater recycling with the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, are from the left Dr Izabeth Conradie (Enactus Business Advisory Board member), Prudence Mo-cwiri, Sebabatso Skhosana, Polo Sengoara, Lehlohonolo Bahumi, Chaun van der Boom, Beyers Janse van Rensburg, Thembisile Tyopo, Thabo Olivier (Enactus Business Advisory Board member), Maraka Lefera and Prof. Crispen Chipunza (Enactus CUT Faculty advisor). Photos: Supplied

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Greywater recycling and reuse in South Africa have been boosted after the invention of a recycling device by two engineering students at the Central University of Technology (CUT) in the Free State.

The two bright students are Beyers Janse van Rensburg and Chaun van der Boom.

They said the initiative started when they realised a lot of gardens and plants around the city were in bad condition due to the drought.

Bearing in mind the conditions of plants, they then put their heads together and worked to develop something that is more affordable for an average person, culminating in the invention of an effective device for recycling greywater and reuse it in homes.

The pair approached Enactus CUT (the entrepreneurial action student group) with an idea of recycling and reusing water through a greywater system.

The Grey-to-Green project is about a water system that is connected through PVC pipes running through the shower and bathtubs.

The water that goes down the drain when a person showers, baths or do their laundry, enters the system.

This water is then pumped out of the system, through the water pump connected to a hose-pipe, to the garden.

Enactus CUT conducted a needs assessment for recycling greywater at the Langenhovenpark market held in Bloemfontein in May.

The chief objective of the needs assessment was to make findings regarding challenges they face with the supply of water for different needs.

Findings were as follow:

  • 90% of the attendees indicated that they have gardens;
  • 54% indicated that their water bill has been drastically affected;
  • 66% indicated that the ongoing drought has had a negative impact on their gardens;
  • 94% of the population are being affected directly and indirectly by these water bills; and
  • 88% were interested in the potential purchase of the product.

Following findings, the recycling greywater system as envisaged, would go a long way alleviating the water shortage problem South Africa is experiencing due to low rainfall and the lack of citizens to conserve water.

Dan Maritz, CUT spokesperson, said through a partnership with Qala Tala, Enactus CUT and the beneficiaries, an experiment have been initiated, which is still in progress, to determine if vegetation is safe for human consumption if irrigated with greywater.

“If found safe, Enactus CUT and the beneficiaries plan to expand the business into the agricultural sector where crops will be irrigated with greywater as opposed to fresh water,” he said.

Maritz said there was a positive response from the market and people love the recycling greywater system.

“There is a huge demand for it having already sold and installed eight systems. The market research showed a massive amount of interest. There is a big gap in the market for it, especially at the price in which it is offered.”

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