Cape Town businesses turn to treated effluent to keep operating

07 December 2017 - 15:53 By Dave Chambers
Two hundred companies receive the effluent through pipes and 150 collect it at wastewater treatment points.
Two hundred companies receive the effluent through pipes and 150 collect it at wastewater treatment points.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

More than 350 Cape Town businesses are using treated effluent in place of drinking water amid the city’s worst drought.

Two hundred companies receive the effluent through pipes and 150 collect it at wastewater treatment points‚ mayor Patricia de Lille said on Thursday.

Businesses using effluent were involved in sewer cleaning‚ construction‚ painting‚ boat-cleaning‚ car-washing‚ movie production‚ manufacturing and drilling‚ she said.

“The city has made available seven treated water draw-off points to businesses – including the two points in Goodwood and Thornton which opened this week‚” said De Lille.

“The city has made R2.4-million available to make 24 treated water draw-off points available to businesses. Using treated wastewater on site also makes financial sense because at R5.30 (including VAT) per kilolitre it is much cheaper than using potable water.

“More importantly‚ using treated wastewater helps Cape Town to conserve the potable water supply. We have to adapt to use every drop of water several times where possible — be it as drinkable or non-potable water.”

De Lille said construction-related activities where treated wastewater can be used include laying road sub-base layers‚ dust control‚ washing off retarder from concrete‚ compacting‚ backfilling and cleaning.

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