Rainwater Harvesting For Water Conservation
According to the United Nations Water Agency, two-thirds of the world population will be living in stressed water conditions in as little as nine years’ time. What does ‘water stress’ mean? It means that there is simply not enough water for agricultural, industrial and domestic uses.
There are a few ways in which humans contribute to the stressed water conditions, such as:
- By withdrawing too much water from the surface water or the underground aquifers,
- The pollution from, for example, the factories and paper mills,
- The overconsumption of water is another major contributor to the stressed water conditions.
In nine years’ time, there will be 8 billion people living on this planet. That means over 5 billion people will be living in stressed water conditions. If there is not enough water, how will we be able to survive and live?
Imagine it is the year 2030 and your lush green backyard has changed into dried, brown shrubs. You cannot water it because there is an active ban on the use of water. When you go to the supermarket, there are fewer and fewer foods available. Many of your favourite foods have disappeared from the store shelves. Your home tap water is no longer potable and you have to buy water from the stores. When you do try to buy water, you may have to get into fights with random strangers over the available water in the stores.
This dystopian future may sound far off. However, there is a high possibility that this can be happening in our world in as little as nine years. This is an issue that will not only affect future generations; it will directly affect ours as well.
Agriculture is a large consumer of water. Over 70% of water is used for worldwide agriculture. Moreover, this percentage increases to 80% in the lower income countries. Most of the people reading this article will likely not be farmers. So, you are probably wondering how you can make a dent in the global water consumption percentage if you are not in the agricultural industry.
It all starts with decreasing your own water footprint. Global warming and other environmental factors have seen a growing demand for alternative methods of water conservation and the harvesting of rainwater.
For home owners, small businesses as well as large, commercial businesses, the construction of a rainwater harvesting system is fairly easy. The benefits are that it not only provides tangible benefits, but also the feeling of pride that goes along with knowing that you are doing your bit to protect the environment. Whether you choose a small system for simple outdoor hand-watering or a large system for automatic irrigation and indoor water usage, you will see many benefits over and above the saving of lots of money due to the decrease in water bills.
Your landscaping will thrive when you use rainwater. Rainwater is better for plants than water that has been treated with chlorine and other unwanted chemicals. When you invest in a rainwater harvesting system, you will not have to worry about watering the pans which occur during the droughts that you are sure to experience during the lifetime of your rainwater harvesting system.
A rainwater harvesting system will help to control the drainage around your house, which, in turn, can prevent flooding. It eliminates corrosion when coupled with a sound water management plan. You can also expect your rainwater harvesting system to increase the value of your home or business. As water becomes an increasingly scarce resource in South Africa and across the globe, people will increasingly be looking for sustainable, forward-thinking solutions – a rainwater harvesting system will be a huge drawing point in buying your property.
Even though SBS Tanks’ rainwater harvesting systems use the latest technology, the principles are the same as those that have been used for thousands and thousands of years. In the past, rainwater collection made sense; in many cases it was even critical for survival purposes. It is no different today. The popularity of rainwater collection declined as we moved to a more centralised water supply. This has contributed in part to some of the water supply challenges that we are seeing in many areas today.
Our success and growth towards eco-consciousness have now brought us full circle. Today we are in an environment where people are once again realising and recognising the importance of investing in a rainwater harvesting system for both their homes and businesses.
Today’s water pollution and recurring droughts demand a turn to rainwater harvesting techniques making use of all the modern innovations that technology provides. Systems designed by SBS Tanks® typically store thousands of litres of rainwater. Instead of using the expensive water that is provided by the municipalities, why not rather tap into your very own resources. In this way, you will be saving a precious commodity as well as big bucks on your water bill. After all, ecologically, you will be doing the right thing.
About Commercial Rainwater Harvesting Systems
A commercial rainwater harvesting system generally starts off with a catchment area. Before you have a tank, you will need a system that is going to bring the water from a catchment area into the tank. Usually, this system will include gutters and some sort of piping. Along with the piping, property developers often add extra elements to the system to enhance the water quality such as first flush diverters to help remove most of the sediment and leaves that may build up on a roof.
The water tanks can be located above the ground or below the ground:
- Above Ground: When the water tanks are above ground, you need to make sure that it is constructed from the right material so that the sun does not shine in – this could lead to the growth of algae in the tank.
- Below Ground: With below ground tanks, owners generally do not have an issue with algae. When the water tank has smooth surfaces on the inside of the tank, there will be less surface area for the algae to grow on.
Another aspect to keep in mind during the design phase of your commercial rainwater harvesting system is overflow. If there is heavy rainfall, then the tank may fill up and overflow. So, this has to be accounted for in the design in order to prevent the overflow from causing damage to the property or the system.
The technology used for large commercial rainwater harvesting is the same as for smaller installations; it is simply the size and scale that varies. What makes commercial rainwater harvesting particularly viable for industrial and commercial properties is the fact that these type of buildings often have a large amount of roof space that can easily be converted to improve rainwater harvesting.
The way we build homes will continue to change. Building codes in South Africa have already changed to encourage the use of double glazing windows and insulation, for example. State-owned power supplier Eskom has also issued rebates for people that install solar water heaters. As our natural resources continue to dwindle, property developers and owners will continue to look for ways to make their properties more eco-conscious, and by so doing, reducing their demand on the national supplies. Rainwater harvesting is one way to significantly reduce your demand for water.
About SBS Tanks’ Rainwater Harvesting Systems
The modular nature of the product makes SBS Tanks® extremely suited for rainwater harvesting. The tanks can successfully be installed in a new development or in a retrofitted environment. The product can even be relocated.
If you are a property developer, then you will undoubtedly be concerned about the lifespan of the SBS Tanks® as well as industrial maintenance. All SBS Tanks® are made of steel. The steel is hot dipped and coated with a molten alloy consisting of the following:
- 55% aluminium,
- 5% zinc, and
- 5% silicon,
This is commonly referred to by its trade name Zincalume®.
This process as well as the material used ensures that the SBS tanks are highly resistant to corrosion. It delivers a superior and cost-effective product in terms of longevity; with no hidden maintenance costs. SBS water conservation tanks are available in capacities ranging from 12kl to 3 300 kl.
What Our Clients Have To Say About Our Water Conservation Tanks
Here is some of the feedback that we have received about SBS Tanks® in South Africa:
“Thank you for the excellent service that we have received from you and your team.” – Maryna Landman – Alpha Plumbing
“I just wanted to congratulate you and your Team for winning the KZN Small Exporter of the Year award! Well done! May your business grow from strength to strength.” – Tenille de Vos – Steelbank – Sales Representative
“Dear Delayne, what a privilege to meet one of our members that really “walk the talk” with regard to supporting local products and services. You are a true resemblance of the “Proudly SA” ethos. “We are indeed proud to have SBS Tanks® as part of the Proudly SA family!” – Dalene du Preez – Proudly SA – Executive Manager: Marketing and Communications
“It is my great pleasure to let your company know that the team, led by Sipho and Piet, who assembled our 2 x 3 Mega Litre tanks on site at Wesizwe Bakubung, is a team of six very competent chaps. You can be very proud of this entire team. When, unfortunately, Sipho fell ill, Piet took over without missing a beat – total professionalism. Their daily reports, risk assessments, PTO’s and weekly attendances were never late and your team always had friendly smiles on their faces. From our mine manager, Mr. Edger Brooks, our engineer, Mr. Alby Labuschagne and I, Greg McClure, the mechanical supervisor, it was a real pleasure working with these competent men. I was instructed to send this letter to the SBS Tanks® Head Office by Mr. Edger Brooks. It is the safest and most competent team he has met on the mine. We all send our best to the team and we hope Sipho gets well soon.” – Greg McClure – Worley Parsons TWE – Mechanical Supervisor
Why Choose SBS Tanks® Water Systems?
We are committed to both service excellence and legal compliance. We are a member of a variety of industry associations such as:
- WISA (Water Institute of Southern Africa),
- SAISC (Southern African Institute of Steel Construction),
- Proudly South African,
- IMESA (The Institute of Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa), and
- ASIB (The Automatic Sprinkler Inspection Bureau), among others.
The company is the preferred liquid storage solution in the South African mining, municipal, fixed fire protection, water conservation and food & beverage industries. What sets us apart from our peers is our ability to go beyond simply supplying a liquid storage solution. We engage on all levels of a project, from the brief, the design through to completion; ensuring not only a world-class installation, but also a positive client experience.
We Design, Manufacture and Install Tanks
By making use of advanced design techniques and by collaborating with South Africa’s leading structural engineers, the services offered by SBS Tanks® include the designing, manufacturing and installation of easily transportable, prefabricated Zincalume® steel panel tanks with multi-layered PVC internal liners. The SBS tanks are perfectly suited for the world’s harshest environments. A strong SABS ISO 9001:2008 quality control plan and keen focus on safety compliments SBS Tanks’ approach to delivery and installation, through which the SBS tanks have become the most preferred on-site contractor in a number of industry sectors, both nationally and internationally.
Need more information about water conservation and rainwater harvesting systems in South Africa? Then contact us today.