Cape Town gets a growing taste for treated effluent

15 March 2018 - 11:17 By Dave Chambers
Xanthea Limberg a mayoral committee member for water‚ said the city council was intensifying the use of treated effluent for toilet-flushing in areas with permanent connections.
Xanthea Limberg a mayoral committee member for water‚ said the city council was intensifying the use of treated effluent for toilet-flushing in areas with permanent connections.
Image: Alicia Kalil ‏via Twitter

Treated effluent is at the centre of an unlikely boom in Cape Town as the city seeks new ways to drive down water consumption.

Businesses are collecting up to 10 million litres of recycled water every day from distribution points. This is on top of 75 million litres a day being supplied through permanent pipelines.

Xanthea Limberg‚ the mayoral committee member for water‚ said on Thursday the city council was intensifying the use of treated effluent for toilet-flushing in areas with permanent connections.

“Special mention must be made of efforts under way in Century City‚ where treated effluent water has been plumbed into various buildings for toilet flushing‚ including the Canal Walk shopping mall‚ the conference centre and various offices‚” she said.

“Incorporation of treated effluent water for toilet flushing is also being done at the city’s wastewater treatment facilities.”

Treated effluent is supplied at a lower cost than municipal drinking water‚ and Limberg called on all business to explore whether it could replace drinking water in their processes.

“The city has also partnered with the Department of Public Works to reduce consumption at its facilities‚” she said.

“Through the installation of water-saving fittings‚ the reduction in water pressure and a programme of leak detection and repair‚ a combined saving of 9.2 million litres per day has been achieved at its 20 biggest facilities which mostly include defence force bases‚ police stations and prisons.

“Management of other large facilities in Cape Town should take note of the significant savings that can be achieved through using treated effluent water and the installation of water-saving systems.”

The expanding use of treated effluent is one of the initiatives that took Cape Town’s water consumption last week to a record low of 511 million litres a day.

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