PE school saves R30,000 in one month trial
SA loses almost 50 percent of tap water – worth a whopping R7-bil a year – according to a recent report commissioned by the Water Research Commission (WRC). But there is light at the end of the tunnel.
A uniquely SA solution may yet save the day. The Water Saving System was installed in September on trial at a Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, school and saved them a whopping 85 percent of their normal monthly water bill. It also saved a substantial amount on their sewerage service charge – a total saving of almost R30,000 for the month.
This means that the Douglas Mbopa School would have paid for the installation of the trial AquaTrip system in its first month. Little wonder that Eastern Cape schools and the Nelson Mandela Metro are so excited about potential saving the installation of this Water Saving System offers.
Port Alfred-based AquaTrip SA’s sales director, Chris De Wet Steyn, said that his company had been asked to demonstrate their high tech low-cost system in the light of the large amount of water loss taking place at the schools in the Bay area. Gerald Smith from GIBB Consulting and the technical officer at water and sanitation for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Shannon Barkes, had invited De wet Steyn to run the pilot trial installation.
“Douglas Mbopa Senior Secondary was the ideal location for the test,” said De Wet Steyn. The school has 1350 learners and in excess of 30 staff in a 27-year-old building. “They were losing a lot of water the ablution facilities which are prone to leaks, negligence and vandalism,” said De Wet Steyn. He says he felt sure that his system would result in considerable saving in the water bill of the school, which “can ill afford such high expenses.”
They were all shocked!
But AquaTrip was in for a shock. De Wet Steyn says he had never imagined that his company’s system would rack up such savings for the school. In the month-long trial the water bill was slashed from R16,500 to a mere R3,138. Add the R11,232 that the system saved on sewerage fees for the month and it totals R29,848 – or almost R360,000 a year.
De Wet Steyn says the Metro’s Barkas and consultant Smith were overwhelmed by the results of the pilot project and he expects orders to flow in – which will stop wasted water from flowing out.
AquaTrip SA, as a socially responsible company and only uses local plumbing graduates from the FET Colleges to install their systems – under guidance of an onsite company representative. They are considering moving the manufacture of the product, patented worldwide, from China to SA once local installations increases.
“The savings these schools enjoy can be spent on upgrading facilities like libraries, science departments and sports centres,” says De Wet Steyn enthusiastically. “I believe we will also instill a water-saving culture through these initiatives at these schools.”
He envisages creating a corps of young ‘Water Warriors’ who could “emerge and choose a career in water management.”
Further information on the pilot project can be obtained from Gerald Smith of GIBB Consulting on 083 433-9940 or Shannon Barkes at Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on 082 459-7499 or 041 506-2443. For technical specifications on the product, contact Chris De Wet Steyn at firstname.lastname@example.org