Readers show how to make every drop count

2016-03-31 12:49
This reservoir has kept Barry Lewis’s family off the municipal water supply.

This reservoir has kept Barry Lewis’s family off the municipal water supply. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Witness asked readers to send in tips on saving water. These are some of your inventive suggestions.

Petra Langeveld Keep a bucket in your shower to harvest the cold water before showering. This would normally just be wasted. A family of four can save buckets of clean water for other uses around the house like washing floors and rinsing dishes.
Don Smale Home: All cold water is collected in a bucket while waiting for the hot water to come through to the shower. This is used for washing floors, dog’s drinking water and plants. Office: Buckets are put under the air conditioner drain pipes (one aircon produces about 20 litres of water per day). We use it for washing our vehicles but it can be used for anything as it is pure water.
Brian Muris

1. Shower: Take a shorter shower/shallower bath.

2. Dishes: When washing a few dishes, rather boil water in the kettle to save wasting a lot of cold water while waiting for the hot water to come through.

3. Toilet: Don’t flush the toilet unnecessarily (if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down). Also check that water isn’t slowly running down the back of the toilet bowl, which could mean you need a new washer in the system.

4. Washing machine: Do a quick cycle with only one rinse.

5. Leaks: Get leaking taps fixed. If all taps are closed, the geyser and toilet are full, the municipal water meter should not be ticking over. If it is moving, even slowly, it could be an underground pipe leaking.
John and Jean Pluke We have installed two Jo-Jo tanks linked up with our house and garden supplies. This reduces our use of municipal water.

However, we reported a leak in our complex. A municipal employee came out, but three weeks later and nothing has been done! We also observe many instances of substantial amounts of water running down the side of the roads — sometimes for days.

This considerable wastage of water is due to the inefficiencies within the municipality. Getting their own house in order should be the first objective. Here’s to the success of the move to save water!
Barrie Lewis Our underground reservoir holds 27 000 litres of rainwater and is full to the brim. We drink it, and use it in the home and garden with no restriction. Tanks and reservoirs like this are the way to go, saving thousands of litres of water.

A small sump separates leaves and particulate matter from the rainwater, which then overflows into the main reservoir.

We used to use a small filter but it blocks so quickly and seems to have little merit, so we have no filter now with no problems. I anticipate we may have to drain the geyser occasionally, but not so far in three years.

The basic structure was not expensive: R15 000 three years ago, including the roof and pump, but the builder didn’t do a good plaster job and so we had to fibreglass the reservoir; that was expensive, an extra R12 000.

However, the water lasts right through the winter. Cleaning the bottom once a year is something less than fun! I clean out the sump once a month and that takes 10 minutes.

We use zero municipal water, but can do should we still need to.
Michael Westray Seeing that you are looking for water saving hints, there has been water coming out of the Mayor’s Garden in Alexandra Park for months.
Swami Reddy There’s a leak at the corner of Olympia Way and Georgia Road from about five years ago. There is also a leak in Cora Road which has not been fixed.

• Please keep sending in your water saving tips and pictures to
If you see water leaks, take a picture and send it in with the reference number you got when you reported it to the municipality, with the date you reported it and the place you spotted it.

Report water leaks to 0800 001 868 or e-mail

The Witness yesterday asked readers to send in tips on saving water. These are some of your inventive suggestions.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  tips  |  water

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