By the time you read this, Cape Town, South Africa has three hundred sixty seven days left until taps are turned off. With a shocking number of 24.4% of usable dam according to the drought. There is a major drought crisis going on and it is believed Cape Town will run out of water before its March 2018 rainy season. With its residents only allowed to use fifty liters per day, a team lead by a local third-year student from the University of Cape Town had proposed a solution.
The team’s company goes by the name Aquarenu. The founder Nkosinathi Nkomo, co-founder/project manager Sesethu Mazangazanga had designed a greywater system that pays for itself over time, an unusual trait for a greywater system to have. “We are building something that recovers its cost over its lifespan” said by Nkosinathi Nkomo. This clever design had followed guidelines to be affordable and low maintenance, as well as to be built from very low-cost materials to be affordable. This is according to how a local grey water system can help you save on your bill.
“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” said by Nkosinathi Nkomo according to how a local greywater system can help you save on your bill.
Njabule Gule works and studies business part-time while he runs Aquarenu. While the last and other team member Monica Masetola, a final-year student at Vega, does branding and marketing for the company. Aquarenu’s greywater system would reduce consumption by up to 80% per month according to #Watercrisis. However, Nkosinathi Nkomo had allegedly fallen to his death from the fifth floor of the University’s residences building. An unfortunate shock to many, some have made conspiracies of the Waterloo product being a copy of the greywater system proposed by Aquarenu and deceased inventor Nkosinathi Nkomo.
WaterLoo is a greywater storage bank that fits on top of toilet cisterns. It is a non-permanent installation that aims to blend seamlessly with the cisterns’ design, while integrating with the flushing system. WaterLoo makes it easy to pour and reuse salvaged household greywater in one’s toilet according to the water-saving WaterLoo greywater bank launched in Stellenbosch.
The model does not require electricity or plumbing. Retief said that the WaterLoo system is not a greywater harvesting system, but “a functional greywater bank that increases the capacity of a toilet cistern and, at the same time, making it easy to pour greywater from buckets into the greywater bank,” he said according to the designer accused of stealing UCT student’s greywater system refutes accusations. The aesthetically pleasing Waterloo is an overall improved design from Aquarenu’s original design shown below.
The population of Cape Town, South Africa remains suspicious around Nkosinathi Nkomo’s death. However, the concept is the same, but the design is obviously different. Both methods get the job done in the end, but whether Waterloo stole the idea remains unsolved as does Nkosinathi Nkomo’s death.
- Vallie, Zeenat. WATCH: How a Local Grey Water System Can Help You Save on Your Bill. 1 Nov. 2017, www.iol.co.za/business-report/watch-how-a-local-grey-water-system-can-help-you-save-on-your-bill-11609159.
- Zue, Cory, and Nathan Begbie. “Cape Town’s Water Crisis.” The Drought, www.capetowndrought.com/.
- Reporter, Staff. “#WaterCrisis: UCT Student Develops Greywater System to Aid Crisis.” Cape Argus, 16 Oct. 2017, www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news/watercrisis-uct-student-develops-greywater-system-to-aid-crisis-11589931.
- “We’re Sorry.” Student Who Created Solution to Cape Water Crisis Dies, 10 Dec. 2017, www.enca.com/south-africa/student-who-created-solution-to-cape-water-crisis-dies.
- “Water-Saving WaterLoo Greywater Bank Launched in Stellenbosch.” Daily CSI & Sustainability News, 8 Feb. 2018, www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/701/173308.html.
- Izak. “Designer Accused Of Stealing UCT Student’s Greywater System Refutes Accusations.” The Daily Vox, 13 Feb. 2018, www.thedailyvox.co.za/designer-accused-of-stealing-uct-students-greywater-system-refutes-accusations-mihlali-ntsabo/.