elands High School has been on a water saving journey for a number of years, but over the past few months the school has aimed to decrease further its water usage.
Previous water saving strategies include installing efficient flushing systems when the toilets were renovated, planting waterwise plants and using treated wastewater to irrigate the fields. To reduce water loss by evaporation, the school fields are watered at night. Last year a pool cover was installed, all the flower beds were mulched, and an additional rainwater tank was installed.
The treated wastewater irrigation system is only set up to water the school fields, but there are still large gardens and grassed areas around the school. This year a small Jo-Jo tank and a water pump were bought. The treated wastewater can now be pumped from the holding tank on the field, and then transported to other areas of the school. No potable water is used to water gardens at the school anymore. Most recently, low flow adapters were fitted on all the taps in the school.
These practical water saving measures have been complemented by improving water awareness throughout the school. A combination of approaches (posters around the school, videos during assembly, dam level updates in general notices each week, a special assembly on World Water Day, research projects based on water use, saving and purification) have been used to raise awareness of our need to save water and to change our thinking with regards to water consumption.
To date these water saving strategies have meant that Pinelands High School has decreased their daily water usage by approximately 71% since January 2015.
Picture 1: Tank containing treated wastewater being transported and used to water the flower bed.
Picture 2: Tap fitted with a slow flow adapter in the bathroom.