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Emira's Centurion rainwater harvesting pilot programme generating notable results

According to the Emira Property Fund, its rainwater harvesting at One Highveld, a retail warehouse property just off the N1 highway and John Vorster Drive in Centurion, is delivering a 73% reduction/saving in municipal water use.
One Highveld, Centurion
One Highveld, Centurion

“That means daily use has decreased from 28,000l to just 7,500l - significantly exceeding our initial target of a 10% saving in one year,” says Emira Property Fund CEO Geoff Jennett.

“We believe rainwater harvesting and water management usage is an intelligent solution to an escalating need for water efficiency.”

Rainwater harvesting means collecting, storing and using rainwater for a range of different uses. It relieves pressure on the municipal water supply and generates commensurate cost savings to Emira and the tenants alike, says Jennett.

Further roll-outs planned

Emira chose One Highveld as the pilot site for rainwater harvesting because of recurring delivery interruptions as well as the topography of the site - but the results will be used to look at more extensive roll-outs of the programme to the funds’ other properties going forward.

“The tenants at One Highveld have experienced multiple municipal water service interruptions in recent months, something that we recognise is a hardship for our tenants,” he adds.

One of the advantages of the site is that it has a downhill slope and space for a storage tank, which allowed for easy installation of the collection system. The harvested rainwater is furthermore safe to drink, thanks to a filtration unit installed as part of the pilot which allows for dual filtration of the harvested water. The water is also used for flushing toilets and watering greenery.

Other water-saving measures at the property include water-saving multi-flush conversions in the toilets and urinals. A pressure reduction valve helps reduce water pressure, although it does not impact the flow or volume of water. Smart logger meters have been installed to monitor the water usage offsite and on an hourly basis.

As an added advantage, the fall of the land at Highveld One means that no pumps were required - making the system energy efficient too.

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