Water-saving measures at ‘My Green Home’ mean lower water bills for the Ngewana family

New municipal tariffs implemented this week around South Africa include significant increases in water tariffs, ranging from 8 to 13 percent in the major cities. This is a greater rise than seen in electricity tariffs this year, which were largely restricted to 8 percent by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, NERSA. It is also well above inflation, which has hovered close to 6 percent for most of the past year.

One household that will not be spending more on water this year is the Ngewana family. They have made a wide range of changes to the way they use water both inside the home and outdoors. Some of these employ the latest technology, while others save water using nature itself.

In the bathroom, the Ngewana family swapped their old toilets for new Lecico dual-flush toilets that use about a quarter as much water for a small flush, a mere 2,4 litres. Low-flow shower heads from HansGrohe are saving the family twice, for both the litres of water per shower and the kilowatt hours of energy to heat that water. And they have reduced showering times for additional savings.

That shower water is even helping them save water outside the house. A greywater system from Water Rhapsody takes water from the shower, bath and basin drains, as well as the washing machine, and pumps it onto the garden. And Bulelwa Ngewana, the mother of the family, is working with Cape Contours Landscape Solutions to design more water-wise plantings for their evolving garden.

In addition to gardens, swimming pools are major reason for high water bills. The Ngewana’s pool now has a Water Rhapsody backwash tank, which returns backwash water to the pool after particulates haves settled.

The biggest water bill shocks may stem  from unnoticed leaks, sometimes underground. The Ngewana family can rest assured that they will have no nasty surprises of this sort, because an Aquatrip water monitor system constantly checks water flow to alert them to a leaky tap and even shuts off the water in case of a major pipe burst while they are away.

Any South African can join the Ngewana family in beating the July 1 water tariff increase with guidance from My Green Home at www.mygreenhome.org.za. The website has videos, guides and no-cost, low-cost and invest-to-save ideas for saving water, under topics such as Appliances, Outdoor and Hot Water.

My Green Home is led by the Green Building Council South Africa, with main co-funding from the German government through the South African-German Energy Programme (SAGEN). It’s also supported by the 49M campaign, Karebo Systems, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and a range of product sponsors and partner organisations.

Those who participate in My Green Home stand a chance to win green prizes, including the grand prize: their own ‘green home makeover’. Those who submit a ‘selfie’ photo of themselves saving water to the website or via Twitter (@mygreenhomesa) by 12h00 on Monday 14th July are eligible for this week’s prizes in a random draw, as well as the grand prize in early August.

Water saving products supplied by Lecico http://www.lecicosa.co.za/ , HansGrohe http://www.hansgrohe.co.za/ , Water Rhapsody http://www.waterrhapsody.co.za/ Cape Contours http://www.capecontours.co.za/

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