From pool to wine cellar
Exorbitant quotes and a love of DIY led Mark Steinhobel to install and plumb a rainwater-harvesting system under his deck at home.
FFor years, the wooden deck at the front of Mark and Annie’s home in Oranjezicht, Cape Town served solely as an extended entertainment area. Here, friends and family could gather to relax and enjoy the views of Signal Hill and the City Bowl.
But underneath the 10 x 5m deck, a vacant space presented the perfect spot for rainwater tanks – something Mark and Annie have come to see as a necessity rather than a luxury with the ongoing water shortages in the Western Cape. Mark wanted to make full use of the space and decided on 10 000L of storage.
“At first, it didn’t occur to me to do it myself, so I got quotes from two plumbers,” Mark explains. “To my horror, they were R43 000 and R48 000 – for the plumbing alone! So I decided to do the job myself and embarked on days of research on the internet, watching Youtube videos of other people who had done their own installations, mainly abroad, and finding the products and supplies I would need locally.”
Mark, chairman of brand experience agency VWV, dedicated his weekends in March 2017 to this project which included lifting enough of the deck so that he could lower the new tanks into place, connecting their home’s gutters to the tanks, and installing the necessary plumbing to connect the tanks to the irrigation system.
Mark employed a labourer to help mix and lay the concrete base for the tanks and when the time came to lower them into position, he asked three men working on a nearby building site to lend a hand.
In the end, the total cost of materials was less than R24 000. This is about half of what it would have cost if he had to hire a plumber – not to mention how much it would be to hire a carpenter to help lift the deck and cross-members!
What’s next on Mark’s to-do list? “I want to get rainwater not only to the garden, but also to the house!” he says.
Watch this space…