School saves water

2017-12-12 06:00

A Masiphumelele school is part of a project that sees learners use less water.

A smart water meter system has been installed at Masiphumelele Primary School. It allows the school principal to digitally track and manage their water consumption in realtime.

Stellenbosch University developed the system, and started Bridgiot to support the installations.

The provincial education department has partnered with Bridgiot, Shoprite and Cape Talk in a campaign aimed at saving water at schools across Cape Town.

The digital meter system, which has been installed at 40 other schools, has recorded water saving of 7.6m litres and an estimated R375 929.

Masiphumelele Primary is currently in the third stage of installation. Baseline readings have been taken over the course of a week and the team is now offering operational suggestions to the principal and performing plumbing maintenance. After this stage, the team will start to track savings, before they share the consumption information with the principal and learners.

Last week, provincial education minister Debbie Schafer visited another school in the programme, Hector Peterson Secondary School in Kraaifontein, which has cut water consumption from 47 000 litres a day to 9000 litres – a monthly saving of just over 1.1m litres. This also yields a monthly saving of around R50 000.

“Following the success in reducing water consumption at this school, the department joined the smart water meter challenge campaign to expand the number of schools receiving the digital water metering system from 100 to 270,” says Schafer.

“Shoprite has undertaken to fund the installation of digital water metering systems at 100 Western Cape schools and has already taken the lead by installing 41 of the 100 meters thus far.

“They aim to install 50 by the end of this year. To date, 353 smart meters have been pledged towards the campaign.

“Over 10m litres of water could be saved every day, if each of the 353 schools reach the kind of savings achieved so far by Hector Peterson Secondary. This will not only relieve pressure on our water supply, but will also help to reduce the costs to schools for municipal services,” says Schafer.

“Bridgiot is responsible for providing meters and a water consumption management service to participating schools. They will monitor use together with schools, and advise on how to save water. They are working with schools to deal with problems.”

Nico Pretorius, CEO of Bridgiot, adds: “Bridgiot enables schools to better understand their water usage with cost-effective, innovative technology solutions, which inspire behavioural change through education. This helps schools significantly reduce their water bills.”

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