Cape Town: Growthpoint takes property off-grid using underground spring


Despite Cape Town recording a significant increase in dam water levels owing to recent rainfall, efforts to avoid straining supply from the main grid continue.

As of 19 July 2018, Cape Town’s overall water dam levels were at 55.8%, according to town council.

Efforts to avoid day zero include efficiency measures such as encouraging the use of 50 litres of water per individual per day.

Growthpoint Properties has recently removed its commercial property in Woodstock from the municipal water grid to become water net-positive.

This has been made possible by the development of a filtration plant, which the building is using to treat some of the 140,000 litres of water flowing underneath the building from an underground mountain spring.

The property is providing 45,000 litres a day to 1 750 people and 25 businesses using the spring, which flows underneath the building’s basement.

The spring produces up to 140,000l of water per day, which over the past years has been directed to the city’s stormwater drainage system.

Timothy Irvine, regional asset manager of Growthpoint Properties in Cape Town, said: “Net-zero water initiatives are an important part of Growthpoint’s journey as it strives to make all its new developments net-zero by 2030.

“It is incredibly frustrating to have a sustainable alternative water source that has to be flushed down the drain because it is not safe to drink. So, we challenged ourselves to find a way to use the sump to provide drinking water that is completely safe for human consumption for the entire building.”

Growthpoint Properties has implemented the development following an approval by the City to produce water at a large scale, in November 2017.

The property group is in the process of ensuring all of its buildings in the Capital become grid neutral, as well as liaise with authorities outside Cape Town to expand the project in other cities countrywide.