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There has recently been a lot of rainfall in South Africa. This is especially relevant to Gauteng where lately, it has been raining almost every night. It would be terribly sad, if all this much-needed rainwater were going to waste. We suggest that you rather safely collect and store this rain water for “a rainy day”, use in your garden, your laundry or even to send to one of the water drives helping Cape Town.

The widespread news coverage of the Cape Town water crisis and other areas that have been severely affected by water shortages, have undoubtedly made us more aware of the importance of not wasting our already strained precious resource: water! This has positively created a desire and need for water saving tips and ideas. Additionally, some of us were severely affected by a three-day water cut in parts of Johannesburg towards the end of 2017, as the result of a maintenance project. Not having water for a few days (or more) makes you more conscious of its boundless importance. It also creates an appreciation for the significant role water plays in our everyday lives.

Collecting and storing rainwater (whether its for your vegetable garden, consumption, bathing or cleaning, or even if you have a sophisticated rain water catchment system) must be done safely. It is crucial to know how to safely collect and store rainwater at home; here are a few simple tips on how you can do so:

  1. When collecting rainwater you need to make sure that you do so in a clean container, especially if you’re going to be using the collected rainwater for drinking and cooking.
  1. If you have small children (particularly toddlers who are either crawling or walking already or pets) make sure that you collect and store the water away from their access. This decreases the likelihood of drowning accidents or possibly having the storage container/s tipping over and seriously injuring them. It is also vital to make sure that your water storage container has a tight cover to prevent small insects crawling in.
  1. Once you have collected the rainwater you should boil it if you’re going to be cooking with or drinking the water. Boiling the water eliminates bacteria (from small particles of dirt that you may have not seen) and makes the water safe for human consumption.
  1. If you’re using a gutter or roof system to collect your rainwater, make sure that you have a mesh or filter that will catch leaves and other debris, to prevent it from being part of your water collection.

Water is a precious resource and we should all be doing our share to make sure that we don’t use it inconsiderately. Now that we are all aware of how strained our water supply is we need to preserve it. We hope that this information helps and remember to be safe when doing your bit for water conservation.