Build­ing water reser­voirs

The Witness - - YOURMONEY - ED­WARD WEST

IN these times of ris­ing water prices, in­fra­struc­ture deficits and drought, Hil­ton res­i­dent Bernard Preston is won­der­ing why peo­ple are not build­ing more un­der­ground reser­voirs in their gar­dens, as he has.

Preston said he first en­coun­tered these rel­a­tively sim­ple rain water har­vest­ing reser­voirs dur­ing a seven­year stint in Hol­land. Know­ing the Mid­lands was in a water cri­sis, he built one in his gar­den in Hil­ton.

The 27 000­litre ca­pac­ity reser­voir, four me­tres in di­am­e­ter, two me­tres deep, har­vests more than 200 000 litres of rain water per year, which is pumped into the house, pool and large gar­den.

Preston said there is lit­tle doubt in his mind that the reser­voir has proved cost­ef­fec­tive.

Many em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties could be cre­ated if more home­own­ers built these reser­voirs, he said.

“In the sum­mer it’s to­tally un­lim­ited, ob­vi­ously in the win­ter we are more cau­tious. Only once in six years (for a month dur­ing the apex of the last drought) have we had to use mains water,” he said.

The cost of the reser­voir, at the time of build­ing, was about

R15 000, built in two weeks by a team of about six men.

Preston said the ad­van­tages of their reser­voir are:

1. There are no losses.

2. The water is free. Pump­ing would cost a fee; in his sit­u­a­tion this is free as they have so­lar en­ergy.

3. The water is pris­tine — they have even dis­pensed with fil­ter­ing, which they did in ear­lier years.

4. The un­der­ground water is very cold, lim­it­ing bac­te­rial ac­tiv­ity. Um­geni Water tests shows zero E.coli in spite of hadedas on their roof oc­ca­sion­ally.

5. They are un­af­fected by Um­geni or mu­nic­i­pal prob­lems.

6. There are no main­te­nance costs.

7. The reser­voirs re­quire only a small pump to be im­ported, and no retic­u­la­tion is needed.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

It only re­quires three men or a me­chan­i­cal back­hoe to con­struct the un­der­ground reser­voir, says Hil­ton res­i­dent Bernard Preston.

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