October 2011 Johannesburg – Rocla Southern Africa, in collaboration with Rocla Australia, both market leaders in precast concrete infrastructural products and solutions, has launched the Rocla ecoRain® and ecoRain® plus water harvesting systems in a bid to encourage rainwater harvesting, retention and re-usage.
“South Africa is one of the many countries today faced with water problems, including the high cost of potable water to consumers. In Australia, there has been a shift towards water sustainable cities and Integrated Watercycle Management. These systems aim to conserve potable supply by implementing the rainwater capture and re-use aspects of Water Sensitive Urban design,” says Justin Kretzmar, sales engineer at Rocla.
According to authorities and research organisations in Australia, by using rainwater tanks for non-potable applications, the need for expensive systems such as desalination and recycled wasted water can be delayed. In leveraging this, many developers and municipalities are changing legislations and building codes to require the installation of rainwater tanks for toilet flushing, irrigation and laundry uses.
“With South Africa facing sanitation and water challenges, the ecoRain systems, which are designed to capture clean rainwater that is then stored underground for further use, could be an answer. As the source and quality of any captured water cannot be assured, the ecoRain system is intended to deliver stored rainwater for non-potable applications, thereby saving costs and addressing some sanitation challenges, whilst conserving potable water,” adds Kretzmar.
“The captured water,” explains Kretzmar, “is conveyed through numerous roof gutter down-pipes to the ecoRain filter, which removes all debris and waste greater than 0.5mm diameter in particle size. Only clean water is then transferred to the ecoRain concrete tank, whilst the coarse litter is continuously removed from the filter and discharged through the overflow to the storm-water drainage system.”
The Rocla concrete tank is strong and durable, with a very long lifespan. As the tank is installed underground, it will not take up valuable land and the load-bearing capacity allows it to be located almost anywhere on site.
“Underground concrete tanks are an ideal method of storing water, proving an almost germ-free environment away from light and heat. Concrete cisterns are strong, durable, last indefinitely and help to neutralise rainwater,” says Kretzmar.
Sustainability of scarce resources is a global imperative and with Rocla concrete tanks, the capability of existing water supply systems will extend to keep pace with population growth. Harvested water can be used for toilets, laundry, car washing, irrigation, etc.
Common rainwater harvesting systems are in plastic form and are traditionally placed above ground, exposing the tank to heat and sunlight, which are detrimental to the quality of water. Heat and UV rays from the sun can cause these tanks to have a limited life span, which means replacing tanks and increased costs. This type of ‘smaller’ tank is traditionally positioned directly below ONE down-pipe and collects water only from this one source.
Rocla is the first supplier in South Africa to offer concrete underground tanks. Capacities range from 3,000 litres up to over 1,000,000 litres depending on the application and requirements of the customer.
More about Rocla
Rocla (Pty) Ltd, part of the Murray & Roberts group, is a leading manufacturer of precast concrete products for infrastructure, including pipes, culverts, manholes, poles and other related and customised products.
Rocla partners with customers to design and develop solutions for specific applications. With over 91 years of experience in precast concrete technology, Rocla provides extensive backup and technical expertise to its customer base. Rocla has an extensive network of factories throughout South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, and is an ISO 9001:2000 certified company.
Through the Rocla Academy, Rocla displays its ongoing commitment to Continuous Professional Development in the Construction industry. The Rocla Academy adds value by providing training to customers, contractors and engineering consultants. Being the only company that offers skills and competency training to external stakeholders, Rocla partners with its customers to add value and deliver service of a superior standard.