Saving water beyond Spring Day

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An example of one of the rainwater harvesting systems Hardus Engelbrecht’s company installs. This can be a way to save water. PHOTO: Supplied

Remember when natural resources weren’t as scarce as they are now and terms like “load-shedding” were not part of the daily vocabulary?

As Spring Day is fast approaching, getting lost in feelings of nostalgia for the days when Spring was celebrated with splashes of water in the street as children and adults welcomed the warmer season, may be a reminder that life is not as simple as it was before.

Bloemfontein Courant spoke to Hardus Engelbrecht, who is the owner of a business that specialises in tank installations and water purification, Overall Greenie, for some tips on how residents in the city can still have fun in the sun without wasting a drop of water this Spring.

Engelbrecht started his trade by learning how to capture rainwater which can be used as a backup for saving water in a household and has expanded his knowledge of water systems in various sectors.

He encourages locals to use what they have at their disposal to save and reuse water. “You can have fun by learning what happens to plants in nature and how it was created by our Creator. You can teach your child by recycling bottles to plant vegetables or flowers in, and position it in such a way that all your plants can benefit from only the above plants being watered – all hanging below will get from the overflow of the above,” he explained.

“The process to do it can be fun and it helps your child and yourself to connect and be more responsible. It also reduces time spent on cell phones. You’ll see something grow that you planted, doing something responsible by not wasting water.”

According to him, another way of saving water is by reusing swimming pool backwash and rinse water. This can be done either after it has been purified back to the swimming pool or for irrigation purposes.

This is an example of a backwash water recovery system for swimming pools. PHOTO: Supplied

He added that changing how you use water in your garden can also help cut on both water usage and costs, but one needs to know your plants and understand what their water needs are. “Even those plants know precisely how much water they need. If you want to plant vegetables find methods to use that use less water, either using hydroponic systems or using a closed environment like a hothouse, which can be used during the year in any season. Enrich your soil by using any waste material inside any household which can help you save money on expensive fertilisers. It will help you be more aware of how nature does it,” Engelbrecht said.

In addition, locals who have enough space in their yards can opt for rainwater harvesting as a way to save water when needed, “then reuse the water using a greywater system that is easy use and maintain.”

Engelbrecht’s water savvy tips:

  1. Waste material like old newspapers, cuttings of fruit and vegetables, cans, and bones can be used in the garden or raised beds or it can be used at a later stage. Because you enrich your soil it will use less water to be able to sustain the plant’s growth.
  2. Do not throw away water, use a greywater system that can be connected to your shower and wash water to be used in the garden as an irregular irrigation system.
  3. Change your water use in the garden. By doing that you can start using a mulch on the topsoil with products that reduces evaporation. These can be leaves of trees that had fallen off during the autumn and winter seasons, or hire a person who has a shredder and shred all cuttings into pieces or mulch to cover exposed garden areas. Use a slow-release organic fertiliser that does not often need water and will not harm the plants. Then start to know precisely how much water needs to be irrigated during the summertime and at what times of the day.

Contact Engelbrecht for more information on water systems on 079-934-6786.

Gypseenia Lion
gypseenia@mahareng.co.za