Unfortunately, interruptions in the council water supply are becoming quite frequent in South Africa.

Normal living without running water is much more difficult than being without electricity, simply because water is a fundamental daily necessity for life.

In addition to simply remaining hydrated, we also need water for hygiene.

So life can quickly become quite difficult when the taps run dry!

There are various ways to solve this problem.

For example, many people have installed tanks that collect rain water. However while that is a great way to reduce reliance on the council supply during the rainy season, what about the other times of the year when the rain does not fall? South Africa is a relatively arid country, especially inland. We do not enjoy high levels of annual rainfall, in general. And of course at the moment, we are in the grips of a drought, which tends to occur every hundred years or so.

If you are lucky enough to have a borehole, with a reliable supply of ground water, that is obviously another way of providing your home with a source of water during a council outage.

But another solution, which is not mentioned that frequently, is the idea posted on SelfReliance.co.za recently. They suggested a buffer tank, controlled by a float valve, that was permanently connected to the council supply. That tank could then be used as a source of daily water for various dedicated taps. But the key benefit would be that because the float valve would keep it filled from the council supply, you could be sure that your tank would be full of water when you needed it.

We decided to formulate a calculator to estimate how much water you might need per day, during an outage. This would help one decide on what size buffer tank would suit your household.

Having Water Available During an Outage

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