While the cost of potable water currently is R50 per kilolitre (on the Level 6 commercial tariff), it’s costing GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town just R9.20 per kilolitre from the treatment facility. It will take approximately 28 months for GrandWest to realise a return on its investment.
Sun International’s GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World in Cape Town has announced the completion of a water purification plant on the property that will in future treat borehole water to potable standards.
The initiative began In February 2017 when the casino investigated feasible options to using potable water. They commissioned a water treatment plant on site that includes four groundwater wells and a treatment plant with iron removal, sand filtration, reverse osmosis and stripping capability to comfortably deliver up to 10 000 kilolitres per month. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between GrandWest and the City of Cape Town to ensure that all water quality specifications and legal requirements were met.
The hospitality and entertainment industry were particularly hard hit by the effects of the unprecedented drought, but since implementing water-saving measures, GrandWest has used almost 50% less potable water.
GrandWest General Manager Mervyn Naidoo said: “To ensure business continuity, it was important to change our water supply mix and be less reliant on public resources. Thankfully our 2018 rainfall is higher than last year, however, the severity of the situation has taught us the importance of having access to alternative resources. Through our boreholes and water treatment plant we are joining the water-saving efforts of millions of Cape Town residents, the City and other businesses. By not drawing water from public reserves there is also substantially more for the residents of Cape Town. We are mindful, though, that underground water is not an unlimited resource and its management is critical. We intend to apply the same Level 6B restrictions to our borehole water as we did to municipally-supplied potable water.”
Aside from being able to guarantee drinking water for customers, there is also a financial case to be made for the plant. The cost of potable water is currently R50 per kilolitre (on the Level 6 commercial tariff associated with Level 6 water restrictions) compared with R9.20 per kilolitre from the treatment facility. It will take approximately 28 months for GrandWest to realise a return on its investment.
Explaining the process, GrandWest’s Engineering Manager Johan Gelderblom said: “The plant consists of four boreholes and water drawn from these is passed through a set of pre-filters that removes most of the metals and suspended solids. The filters are aerated to assist with oxidisation of the water and from there, it is stored in a holding or buffer tank. The water is then taken through a set of reverse osmosis RO filters from where it is finally pumped into a 400 000 litre holding tank. As required, the water is later pumped to the main water reservoir by means of a UV generator unit which stops bacteria and further purifies the water.”
“The borehole solution was built in phases. First we established the boreholes and tested the quality of the water. The appropriate purification process was then designed and, once City approval was obtained, the actual purification plant was built. The geohydrological measurements for the boreholes commenced in May 2017 and the plant produced its first purified water on 15 May 2018.”
Regular tests are conducted to ensure that the water quality complies with drinking water standards as laid down by the City.”
What else did GrandWest do?
- Bath plugs have been removed from all bathroom
- Water flow reducers have been fitted to shower heads
- Basins have been fitted with faucet aerators
- Bed linen and towels are only changed on request
- Non-essential back-of-house water faucets have been locked
- All water fountains on complex have been shut down;
- Urinal flushes are set to its lowest level
- Taps in the public facilities have been shut down (only one operational)
- Hand sanitisers have been implemented in public facilities
- Effluent treated greywater supply directly from the Municipal sewer treatment works, recycled water from The Ice Station, as well as non-potable water are used to water the gardens
- Many plant beds have been converted to water wise plant beds
- Boreholes drilled and the establishment of a water purification plant