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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


DOBROWKSY, PH et al. Quality assessment and primary uses of harvested rainwater in Kleinmond, South Africa. Water SA [online]. 2014, vol.40, n.3, pp.401-406. ISSN 1816-7950.

With an insightful policy, rainwater harvesting (RWH) can be promoted as a core adaptation strategy for achieving global water security, reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustaining water resources. The microbial and chemical quality of RWH samples collected from tanks in a sustainable housing development in Kleinmond, South Africa, were monitored. Results indicated that the tank water quality was within all the chemical standards (cations and anions) analysed for potable water. However, the counts of the indicator organisms, for example, total coliforms and Escherichia coli, exceeded the guidelines stipulated by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (1996). The microbial analysis results thus indicate that the tank water was not fit for potable use without treatment. A social research project was then conducted to describe, amongst others, the condition of the tank and the users' knowledge of the RWH system. In addition, demographic data, viz., gender, household size and employment status, etc., were gathered in order to provide a socioeconomic background description of the study population. Data were gathered by means of face-to-face interviews with 68 respondents. Generally, RWH was used for washing clothes and for cleaning inside and outside the houses. This study noted that without acceptance and necessary training to maintain and use the tank optimally, it is possible that social development projects, such as the one in Kleinmond, will not be sustainable.

Keywords : domestic rainwater harvesting; microbial and chemical quality; social perception; acceptance.

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