A few smart moves on the pitch, and off, at Athlone Stadium have helped to make the facility even more water-wise and the water-saving initiatives are already yielding positive results.The protracted drought, coupled with level 6B water restrictions that ban the use of potable water for watering grass, took a toll on the pitch at the stadium and it deteriorated significantly.Last year the City of Cape Town installed a treated effluent water (TEW) system to be used primarily for watering the pitch, which has over time helped to rehabilitate the playing field to its former glory.In addition to the TEW system, the City has installed the Aquatrip water management system in the restrooms. The water-on-demand system has helped to save significant amounts of water since installation. In the six months since it was installed, 13 million litres of water have been saved, which translates into an estimated monetary saving of R2.5m per year.“The current water shortage has challenged us all to think outside the box and come up with smart solutions to save even more water. Most of the restrooms at Athlone Stadium are used only on event days, which mean that leaks would go undetected for long periods of time. This smart move to install the water-on-demand system has already yielded significant water and monetary savings,” says Stuart Diamond, Mayco member for assets and facilities management.The Aquatrip system makes use of motion sensors to significantly reduce water wastage when it comes to leaks, and regulates how and when water is utilised. These sensors are connected to a solenoid valve on the incoming water line. When a person walks into the restroom the valve opens and allows water to flow to the taps for 10 minutes. Each time it detects motion, the 10-minute timer is reset.If water is still flowing 10 minutes after the restroom is unoccupied, this means that there is a leak, which is usually due to a stuck toilet valve or a tap left open. The Aquatrip system will shut off the water and log the fact that there is a leak. “The system has proven that it is impossible for faulty toilets and taps to leak undetected. Additionally, we have peace of mind knowing that our limited water supply is not being wasted,” adds Diamond.In addition to these smart water-saving initiatives, Manzi, the City’s water-saving mascot, made an appearance at the Ajax Cape Town versus Bidvest Wits soccer game at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday. Aside from being a celebrity and having to pose for a number of selfies, Manzi reinforced his water-saving tips and handed out goodie bags to 10 lucky soccer fans for their innovative water-saving initiatives.