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Harvesting Rainwater in Cape Town

Capetonians like the idea of harvesting rainwater however we are lead to believe we should buy a tank, have our downpipes drain into it and use the water for gardening. It is also not unusual to page though a gardening magazine and see a full page advert of a water tank manufacturer showing how easy it is to install a rainwater tank.

We here at Water Rhapsody really like the idea as well, just like many other Capetonians. However, we’ve asked ourselves a few questions. What does one do with a full tank of rainwater in winter? Do you just store it in the tank and have it overflow down the drain once it is full? How often do Capetonians water their gardens during the rainy season (winter)? After asking ourselves all these questions we came to what could be the most important question of them all. “If the water won’t be used for irrigation, what other use could this clean water be for?”

There must be something better than sending it down the stormwater pipe!

If you’re still not convinced from what we say maybe a story from one of our clients could persuade you to make the most of your rainwater.

Water Rhapsody rainwater harvesting filter

Rainwater Harvesting filter

Stage one was installing the rainwater filters, in the downpipe of the gutters, and the piping to the spot where we wanted the tank, hidden away in the corner of the property.

Stage two was installing the rainwater tank itself. Quite surprisingly there is a variety of colors these tanks come in and we weren’t stuck with a bright green tank. We decided to go for a black water tank as it would be least noticeable in the overgrown back corner of the property.

Stage three would be to connect the tank to a pressure pump and send the water back into our home.

Water Rhapsody rainwater harvesting tank

black water tank

Since February and March were very dry months we decided to delay installing the pump because we had been sitting with an empty water tank for 2 months. Albeit, we knew we wanted to go ahead despite the dry summer months. We were just waiting for rain.

It is the end of April now and Cape Town has had 4 day of rain this month. The first rainy day, right at the start of April, we collected about 1000 litres. The second day only about 200 litres but yesterday we must have collected in excess of 4000 litres as our tank was overflowing when I had a look this morning. Now we feel a like little idiots, having waited too long, as we have an overflowing water tank and no means of using the water.

This morning I called our Water Rhapsody agents and they will be out to install and complete stage three of our rainwater harvesting project. What this means is that we will now be bathing, showering, flushing toilets and  doing laundry with our harvested rainwater.

We’re even thinking of spoiling ourselves by taking longer showers or even fuller, more relaxing baths now that we have free water. We might even joke about our foolishness of waiting till the rain came”

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