Day Zero is fast approaching and is now a reality and certainty. As the New Year has come around there is much media hype around the best ways to deal with this crisis in your private capacity however what has not been addressed is the reality facing businesses in and around Cape Town once the taps are turned off.

Day Zero will affect your business; have no disillusions about this fact. The crisis will not only affect businesses who are directly related to water requirements operationally such as manufacturing plants or agriculture rather all local corporations will be required to answer the questions around irrigation, sanitation, cleanliness, health and safety and cleaning. Sick staff, toilets that do not flush and a general dirty working environment can and will affect attendance levels, productivity and staff morale. If you’re not equipped as a business you will pay many times over for your lack of preparation.

Being prepared and ready for the water crisis is vital to ensure loss of productivity and sales. Here are our expert tips for how businesses can prepare accordingly:

  1. Ensure toilets can be flushed – Grey water harvesting needs to take place and be stored so that the toilet can be flushed, this will be one of the biggest reasons staff do not come to work as it puts them in a very uncomfortable situation. Ensure you have tanks for storage at your facility and use the stored water almost immediately
  2. Go off grid – the less reliance on municipal water sources for the future, the better for any business. Once we reach Day Zero the water could be turned off for up to 6 months. Going off grid allows you to secure your water supply according. A borehole with a customized treatment plant produces potable (drinkable) water which can sustain the business’ requirements and allows non-reliance on municipal supply. Conns offer financed treatment plants with no upfront capital investment to ensure ease of installation for businesses.
  3.  Wash dishes using a rinse free soap – having dirty dishes lying around will certainly spread germs and disease. Invest in soaps which do not require rinsing for you mugs and dishes
  4.  Invest in a water dispenser – ensure that staff has an adequate amount of drinking water. A number of companies offer water dispensers for drinking and even try go the extra mile by having a supplier who does not source their water from within the Western Cape
  5.  Ensure all rain water is harvested – harvesting of rain water gives you a supply of water to use as you wish. Mark Madlener of Conns Water Solutions says that “while this does have some upfront cost to it, this is certainly one of the best long term solutions for your business. Reducing your reliance on municipal water in the long term is critical”. Rain water does however need to be filtered and disinfected to be considered safe for drinking. Ideally one would use a sediment filter, carbon filter, pH adjustment and UV disinfection to achieve a higher standard of the stored water.
  6.  Stock up on bottled water – The simplest way to ensure constant water supply is to buy in bottled water, especially the 5 litre containers which are more cost effective. Shoprite are already reporting that consumption of bottled water is up by 160% and having a backup supply ensures some level of staff confidence in your strategy. Again ensure that the water is sourced from outside the Western Cape to ensure local resources are not affected.

For more information contact us