Emergency Water Storage at Schools in the Western Cape

Western Cape Department of Public Works

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The scope of the works entailed the construction of platforms, placing of water tanks, fencing, pump installation, water reticulation and plumbing works at various schools in the Western Cape area to allow schools to make use of ground water or harvested water to service their ablution facilities. The aim was to ensure that all ablution facilities were functional during the 2017-2018 drought and to aid the schools in saving money of their water bill every month.

Construction of platforms and placing of the tanks comprised of:

  • All Platforms comprised of layer works, paving and kerbs.
  • 10 000liter tanks were placed on these platforms and galvanised fencing was erected around the perimeter of the platform.
  • Concrete plinths were cast to which the booster pumps were bolted.
  • Pre-fabricated galvanised steel mesh cages were installed over all the booster pumps.

Installation of pumps, water reticulation and plumbing comprised of:

  • The booster pumps were installed on concrete plinths, all electrical and pipe work for pumps were connected to the existing infrastructure.
  • HDPE pipes were laid from the booster pumps to pre-determined ablution facilities.
  • The plumbing to 50% of the ablution facilities, excluding hand and wash basins, were reinstalled to be connected to the new water reticulation system.

1. The schools were vastly scattered all over the metropolitan of Cape Town, making travelling to and from sites exceptionally difficult.

2. As most of the schools had different requirements and the material requirements per school does not allow for bulk ordering and delivery, storage areas had to be established and further distribution to all schools had to be orchestrated to ensure that all the material is there when work needs to commence.

3. Having to work with different stake holders at each school and establishing a trusting relationship with all of them proved quite demanding.

4. Most of the schools were quite old, posing some challenges when water connections had to be made as pipe systems varied from copper, HDPE, PVC to asbestos.

5. Gang violence in most the areas of the project posed a real threat to management and staff members.

6. School terms and holidays as well as examination times caused many delays and required intricate planning to ensure the timely completion of the project.

7. We implemented 6 different teams, each at a different school at any given time, a delivery truck and a site manager to promote the momentum of production as to ensure a timely completed project.

Project Overview


Western Cape Department of Public Works

Date of Project:

Started: June 2018, Completed: May 2019




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