Water is a finite resource. As the hospitality industry grows, a bigger demand will be placed on our water resources. South Africa is considered to be a relatively dry country, experiencing about half of the world’s average rainfall per year. In addition, our rainfall is inconsistent and typically occurs in concentrated areas. The prevailing consequences are inevitable and the price of water is set to rise dramatically in the years to come with some commentators predicting a premium for water usage in hotels, lodges, B&Bs and guest houses.
In the hospitality environment, water is primarily used for general and personal cleaning, cooling, human consumption, sanitation and swimming pools. Water that can be saved and/or recycled in all these areas usually leaves the hotel as effluent. Contaminated waste water affects water drainage systems, streams, rivers, lakes and the sea. In fact whole eco-systems including the municipal water supply can be affected by contaminated water effluent from industry. With the implementation of the South African Water Act (1998), the hospitality industry is been made increasingly responsible to prevent pollution at its source. Water can be re-used if not contaminated and cleaned up for re-use through proper treatment.
What you need to know:
- In compliance with the South African Water Act (1998), the South African Department of Water and Energy will intensify their water consumption monitoring in mainstream industry through more rigorous monitoring and inspection to ensure compliance with regulations.
- The cost of cleaning up hotel water effluent contamination is much more than the cost of implementing measures to re-use or recycle water waste.
- Previously the trend in the industrial sector was to treat waste water for return to the municipal system. Today, some grey water recycling systems can offer up to 100% water reclamation through closed-loop systems that treat and recycle the water for re-use.
- Basic maintenance programs on hotel water systems will ensure that costly leaks or spills will not occur.
- Recycled water from use in cleaning can be used to irrigate the surrounding gardens.