By now you’re probably doing many things in order to save water such as having a one-minute power shower, making the kids have ‘bucket baths’, reusing your grey shower and washing machine water to flush the toilets and you’re definitely no longer watering your gardens or your cars.
We’re getting more water savvy thanks to Cape Town’s severe drought and subsequent water crisis but there are more products coming onto the market (or currently in it) that you may not be familiar with, which are inexpensive to purchase and can help you maintain your garden, keep the family clean and store water for that much longer.
Norgarb Properties, which is campaigning for homeowners to be water wise, has interviewed Aslam Davids (pictured), junior department manager for the Stodels shop department, among other experts and companies specializing in water saving tips and products, and compiled the list below to help you save more water – a very precious resource for those in the Western Cape.
Being water wise and investing in water saving techniques can help to improve property prices says Lew Norgarb, principal of Norgarb Properties. “Cape Town is going through a difficult time at the moment with the water crisis and buyers are hesitant as there is so much uncertainty in the market. If you’ve already placed water-saving products into your home it can go a long way to helping you in selling your property if that’s what you want to do.”
“Even if you’re not selling your property,” adds Lew, “you can’t go wrong with adopting some of these crucial water saving techniques and buying these relatively cheap products, which will save water, improve the look of you garden, and money as well.”
1. Products that keep your garden alive: Use these products to keep the soil moist in your garden. Stodels in Kenilworth has several products that can help including EXLGel (R9.95* for a 5gram sachet) is a water retention product which gets mixed in the soil. There’s also the Wonder brand’s Stockosorb (R129.95 for 200g), which are water wise crystals, which provides increased water holding capacity for flower beds, hanging baskets, shrubs and trees, lawns and vegetable gardens. Alternatively, there’s SaturAid (R59.95 for 250ml), from Debco, which leaches into the garden beds and lawns which keeps the soil moist at all times.
2. Collapsible water storage tanks: Now that JoJo tanks are selling like hot cakes there are various other water storage tank-like products that are coming into the market. Stodels’ Eezee tanks may not be able to store thousands of litres (the biggest size is 500L, R1,359.95 and the smallest is 100L for R699.95) but the benefit here is that once the water crisis is over you can fold them up and store them in the garage and only bring them out again if another crisis should occur. Gutter hoses are sold separately and 5m hoses are sold for R149.95. Simply attach the gutter hose using cable ties.
3. Takealot’s water store: If you are happy to buy online, Takealot has a dedicated water store where you can find everything from tanks, taps to buckets and bottled water among other items. Delivery takes 1-4 working days. Check out the SWS Waterwizz Flood Stop Safety Valve (R107) which automatically cuts off the water to your washing machine and dishwasher should there be any overflow.
4. Dry shampoo: Did you know that you can use up to 50 litres of water, just by washing your hair? There’s a few dry shampoos on offer in the market, such as Batiste, which requires no water and refreshes your hair between washes. Batiste offers a range of products to choose from for use between washes which will make your hair look good. It’s available in 200ml and 50ml from Dis-Chem and Clicks stores.
5. Replacing your cleansers: You should adapt our beauty regime but considering products like Sorbet’s Salon Skin Micellar Water. It’s a great alternative as it requires no water to clean your face. Buy a 100ml bottle for R60 or 300ml for R130.
6. Water purifiers and sterilisers: With the water in Cape Town looking a bit grainy these days you may want to consider getting some water purifiers. There’s also P&G’s Purifier of Water packets. Each four-gram powdered packet treats 10 litres of heavily contaminated water by killing bacteria and viruses and removing parasites and solid materials. Ten litres of dirty water can be purified in 30 minutes. P&G is working with Gift of the Givers in areas around South Africa to provide relief on the current storage of clean water by distributing sachets for free to people who need it most. A basic Google search however prices the product at R680 on Wantitall, which will take a few weeks to get to you as it’s imported from America.
A cheaper alternative also includes Milton Tablets and Milton Sterilising Fluid, which are made from sodium hypochlorite and sodium chloride. Milton has multiple uses, including water purification for drinking, grey water sterilization for household use, minimizing toilet odours and washing of vegetables and fruit to prevent the spread of bacteria. You can find Milton at Clicks, Dis-chem, Shoprite, Pick n Pay (Milton Sterilising Fluid 500ml R44.99 or 1L for R74.99; Tablets R44.99), Spar and most independent pharmacies.
7. Using disposable and reusable items: If you’re keen on using less water then using disposable paper plates and cups. As these aren’t kinder to the environment you may want to consider alternatives, such as reusable cups for coffee (Vida are these days not offering customers cups, but disposable ones instead). They’re available from Yuppiechef for R199. Instead of putting yoghurts, smoothies and such in a bowl for your kids, why not make use of a reusable pouches. They’re on sale at Mombabbles.com.
8. Camping washing machines: Your washing machine uses up a lot of water. Consider buying camping washing machines and dryers. You can get a Spindel Laundry dryer from Yuppiechef for R2,099. There’s also the Sputnik Wonder Wash Pressure Washing Machine. You can order it from Sustainable.co.za, but there is a four week lead time on all new and existing orders.
The City of Cape Town has provided these handy guides for safe ways to use water and how to ensure you keep your health in check during the crisis.
*All prices are subject to change. Prices correct as at 9 February, 2018.
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