Picture: H20 International. (Supplied).

CAPE TOWN - Water purification company, H20 has caused a stir in the wave industry after announcing that its water refill station will be suspended from February 1, 2018. 

The company CEO, Tony Marchesini reveals why H20 has left thousands of customers in the lurch during the current water crisis. The walk-in water refill service was first introduced in South African franchises in 2009. 

Marchesini says that many clients wanted filtered drinking water in their homes but were not in a position to purchase one of their Multi Stage Water Purification Systems. The service has since been suspended, much to the horror of thousands of customers. 

“We had no idea that the weekend before that date, there would be a run on our stores as panic water buying set in. As we do not condone stockpiling, we were horrified”, said Marchesini. 

He adds that the decision made was one of pure social responsibility. “We firmly believe that the effort to save water is the responsibility of every Capetonian and every business that operates in the water stressed region”, said Marchesini. 

He acknowledged that despite suspending its water refill operation, business in the Western Cape Franchises alone will be affected as water refill had never been a part of H20’s core business offering. However, this will see Western Cape franchises bleed between 15-25% of its revenue, depending on its location. 

He added that all the franchises fully support the decision as they are working together to defeat Day Zero. 

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The water was sources mainly from municipal sources, however, the franchisees will now be looking for water to be shipped in from areas that are not water stressed. 

They are also looking into other options such as renting and installing Water From Air Generators to further relieve the pressure .

On measures that households can take to secure water, Marchesini says that because the water quality has deteriorated, households who can afford to, should consider installing a water purification system. Alternatively, households should store 25 litre bottles for emergency use. 

Although H20 pledged their commitment to defeating day zero and suspending its water refill station, Marchesini said that they will continue to service their corporate contracts, provided that they are within the Level 6B restriction parameters. 

He said that they have however put in measures to ensure that their corporates do not stockpile. 

In the meantime, various options and solutions are being explored by the company for alternative water supplies. 

“Once we have found these new sources  ,  we can restart water refills , with the permission of our Landlords,  with good clean purified water, we will lift the suspension on the service. We are in discussions with our Landlords to give us premises that would not cause congestion within the malls. Until then, we are determined to be part of the solution when it comes to defeating Day Zero”, concluded Marchesini. 

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