Stellenbosch University – treated greywater project, South Africa
Enabling sustainable solutions to reduce water usage through the largest greywater project in Africa.
Faced with severe drought in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University wanted to address the challenges regarding the consumption of water on its campus.
Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Date started: 2018
Completion date: 2019
Client type: Real estate
Key services: Project management
As part of its efforts to tackle the regional water shortages, Stellenbosch University wanted to address the challenges regarding the consumption of water on its campus by using greywater instead of fresh water to flush its toilets.
The university’s proposal involved removing 1,300 toilets in 14 student residence buildings from the municipal water supply and reconnecting them to a new greywater system.
This system collects shower water from the student residences, treats it and uses it to flush toilets – the first time such a system had been installed in a higher education institution.
Through our project management remit, we oversaw stakeholder management, procured and managed a professional team and the specialist main contractor, monitored the quality of the installation, and checked the progress of the works against the baseline programme.
In order to support this, we produced monthly progress reports outlining programme, financial and commercial updates.
Our reputation for managing projects within a challenging live environment, with the use of efficient systems, plus our understanding of master planning, proved invaluable.
Sustainability was the crucial core focus during the design stages, and the management of the contractors within a live environment was key to the success of the project.
As a result of the work, Stellenbosch University has reduced municipal water usage by 35 percent since November 2019. The project has also been recognised for its innovation, winning an award from the Institute of Civil Engineers in Cape Town.
The university is already planning to link its Tygerberg Campus and academic buildings across its main campus to similar greywater systems.
Through this project, we have indirectly contributed to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 12: Responsible Sourcing and Reduction, by supporting the delivery of an innovative water sanitation system and using an alternative natural water source that is often overlooked.