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Treated wastewater answer to CT water crisis?

A water re-use expert believes this is definitely the way the City of Cape Town will have to go to ensure a municipal water supply.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - If the thought of consuming treated wastewater freaks you out, you may have done so already without actually realising it.

A water re-use expert believes this is definitely the way the City of Cape Town will have to go to ensure a municipal water supply.

Officials last week announced if consumption is reduced and additional sources like aquifers, desalination and wastewater treatment come on stream, the taps won't run dry.

Israel and Namibia are two examples of countries that use wastewater in a big way.

Water re-use expert Teboho Mofokeng says Namibia’s beer and Israel’s veggies are high-quality products of wastewater.

“Anybody who is into Windhoek larger, which is manufactured - I think they have a manufacturing plant in Namibia. All of Namibia’s water is repurposed for potable drinking purposes. Israel has a combination of water sources.”

Mofokeng says the technology is tried and tested and the water coming out of the process is perfectly safe.

At the same time, mayoral committee member responsible for water Xanthea Limberg says it makes financial sense for construction companies to use treated effluent on building sites.

She says treated effluent costs about a third of the price of drinking water.

“Treated water is far more affordable than potable water,it's R5,30 per kilolitre, whereas the price of potable water per kilolitre is around R15. So it's a massive saving for business.”

About 8% of wastewater currently gets used in the industrial sector and Limberg says it makes sense for more of it to get used.

“We’re asking other sectors, particularly the construction industry, to maximiser hew use of treated effluent in their building process. Obviously only for the non-structural work and so we’re calling on them to make use of the service.”

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