Millions of litres of water saved and health hardware improved

March 26th, 2014

After 2 weeks of intensive work by the local WASSUP team and two WorldSkill plumbers, the immediate results of the small works completed on 10 toilet and water points are becoming clear. The works have included installing water stop valves to asset in maintenance, water meters to assess use, new cistern and pans where needed, better drainage and new tubs, new taps, new doors, wall repair, painting and ground works to improved external access and drainage.

What is less obvious is how the improvements have led to water use reductions and the impact similar changes could have on the Diepsloot area.  

Here are some quick desktop calculations based on the results so far.

In the 12 days since the works were commenced and water meters installed in the 10 toilet and tap points being improved and another 10 control units the total water use is shown below. 

Water Graph Copy

The difference in water use, of over 300,000 litres, is dramatic. And remember, this is only comparing the use of 10 improved toilet/tap points with 10 that have yet to be improved. In this small sample alone, every month around 750,000 litres of water could be saved by the better functioning toilet and tap points.

The daily average water use ‘gap’ is around 5,000 litres per toilet / tap point per day as show below.

Water Graph  Copy

WASSUP currently manages 120 toilets, most have old, poor quality hardware similar to the toilets recently improved. For over 6 years they have struggled to keep these toilets working.

The 110 toilets not yet improved will use around 550,000 litres more water every day than the same toilet and tap points with the simple improvements in hardware made during the Diepsloot Sanitation Project. Over a year this will mean over 200 million litres of water will be wasted without any additional benefit to the health of the residents.

Imagine the impact of the same work completed during the Sanitation Project being completed on the remaining 110 toilet and tap points and then spreading similar work throughout Diepsloot. 

HH, with WASSUP on the ground, will keep track of the changes in water use and function of the toilet and tap points and evaluate the hardware and drainage solutions used mid 2014.

Anyone is interested in the environment, the load on the sewer system and continues access to toilet and water services by residents should stay linked to the results of this project.

Water Use Explain Copy

The WASSUP team constructed a 1000 litre water volume cube from beer crates to explain to local residents the volumes of water being wasted through leaking taps and cisterns. Stuck to the cube are the various sheets of water use data recorded by the newly installed water meters. 

NOTE: 1 cubic metre of water (1mx1mx1m) = 1,000 litres and weighs 1 tonne.