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Wednesday, 01 February 2017

CPUT is water wise

GREEN PASTURES: CPUT grounds are kept green using recycled water stored in a lake and a retention dam GREEN PASTURES: CPUT grounds are kept green using recycled water stored in a lake and a retention dam

Grounds and garden’s personnel use mainly recycled water to keep CPUT’s campuses green despite the City of Cape Town’s water restrictions.

The city has since November approved level 3 water restrictions that prohibit the use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems and urging residents to limit their watering to the mornings and evenings.  

Douglas Curran, CPUT’s Chief Horticulturist, says the Bellville Campus gets treated effluent water from the Bellville Sewage Works which gets stored in a retention dam. 

“While the water meets safety standards it is not recommended for drinking, cooking and washing,” says Curran.

The campus utilizes huge pumps which are controlled by computer and irrigation stations to water the entire campus and its sport fields.

 “It’s been nearly 30 years since the treated effluent water is used to irrigate the sport fields and their drainage system collects the water and sends it to the campus’ lake which pumps it back to the dam,” he says.

“The irrigation system uses the same water five times.”

While CPUT has an exemption certificate from the City of Cape Town which allows it to use fresh water to irrigate the majority of the Cape Town Campus up to three times-a-week, the university has managed to only water newly-planted areas only once-a-week.

Old areas are not irrigated at all and the Piazza has a pumping system connected to underground spring water which is used to keep the grass there merely alive.

Lawns and gardens on the Wellington Campus are maintained using boreholes.

Written by Kwanele Butana


Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.