CAPE TOWN - The disastrous water issue that Cape Town is experiencing has been tackled by innovative UCT students and entrepreneurs, with their grey water system, AquaRenu.
Cape Town has been facing alarming low levels of dam water, resting at a shocking 27.4% usable water, according to the City of Cape Town.
University of Cape Town student, Nkosinathi Nkomo together with his company partner and co-founder, Sesethu Mazangazanga designed an affordable greywater system. The system can be used in South African homes and places of work.
"'The greywater irrigation system basically takes water from bathrooms and laundry, with exception of toilet water which would be black water. Instead of that water going down the drain, its treated because it passes through a filter and its stored. It basically does irrigation automatically. The only maintenance would be once a week when you remove the filter and run it under a tap for a few seconds", says Nkomo.
This achieves their initial design goals, that of affordability and low maintenance, says Nkomo. "'We are building something that recovers its cost over its lifespan"', adds Nkomo.
Although Nkomo notes that the greywater system is not a new invention, his design specifically focused on affordability. As engineering students, they knew exactly which material to get and had to figure out how to plan the system.
The system which was created this year is now fully operational. In Cape Town, 13 have been sold and 8 sold in Johannesburg. In addition to this, they've landed a contract with a school in Mpumalanga who wanted to reduce their water use in a school application. This contract will push sales of their systems to about 70 systems sold within their first year of operation.
They are confident in their product and have also received positive reviews, says Mazangazanga. A month after installation, the AquaRenu team goes back to check if their system works properly and as they expect.
Mazangazanga says that people's bills have reduced by close to R700 per month after installing the AquaRenu greywater system.
Customers have two systems to choose from. Initially, they only had the GS2 prototype which sells for R4 000. It comes with a 20m hosepipe, 110 litre storage capacity and has a removal filter.
In an attempt to zoom into affordability, they have recently introduced the GS1 prototype. This provides use for small gardens and sells for R3 000.
In addition, biodegradable cleaning products company, Better Earth. AquaRenu now provides a biodegradable gel that comes complimentary with the greywater system. "We believe that the solution does not lie in one field", adds Nkomo.
This adds to the multilayered issue that AquaRenu addresses. Notably, their company has roughly a R50 000 turnover in its infant phase, excluding their Mpumalanga contract.
Another successful Installation. Call us on 0614197484 to start saving water pic.twitter.com/yqbp92cGcw— AquaRenu Greywater (@AquaRenu_SA) August 1, 2017
- BUSINESS REPORT