Gorgeous Green House

The Renovation Journey of a 1940’s ‘Traditional’ to 2015 ‘Contemporary, Green & Gorgeous’

Water Harvesting System In: very exciting green milestone.


Very few will argue that we have water crises in South Africa and in many parts of the world.  In SA 5 million people lack access to water and 15 million lack access to basic sanitation. This crises is comprised of a number of issues including, changing rainfall patterns (climate change), increased demand, ageing and ineffective maintenance of water plants, pollution, water theft, delays in construction of dams and the deterioration in the functioning of existing dams.

If those of us that are able to harvest our own water do so, we will accumulatively provide greater resources to others, ensure our own clean supply and save money in the long run.  In other words it is a no brainer green thing to do if you can!

We did a lot of research on the various systems available and it was quickly apparent that Pula Water offers the Rolls Royce version. The modular system has a smaller footprint than a typical system yet achieves the same storage capacity.  The lightweight design of Atlantis® modules also make installation quicker, safer and cheaper.  No sediment build up occurs in the Atlantis system, unlike the clogging that is characteristic of aggregate based approaches.  The quality of the water overall, once it has been through the unique filtration units, means that the water can be used everywhere in your home.

Pula Water provide a professional service to advise on your volume requirements and at which critical point the cost of the size of your tank vs the rainfall in your area is your wisest investment.  Our need is to use our water extensively in our home, not just for garden watering so we knew we were going large!  Comprehensive tables and charts put together for us showed that with our local rainfall our family would benefit best from a 20 000L tank.  I.e. anything larger would be an overinvestment.

This is what the process and the product looks like:

An enormous was dug

An enormous hole was dug

The flat pack Atlantis modules from Pula Water were assembled into cubes

The flat pack Atlantis modules from Pula Water were assembled into cubes

Geo textile and sand added to pit

Geo textile and sand added to pit

In go the crates

In go the lightweight modules

Note Alternating layers of Goetextile and plastic

Note Alternating layers of Goetextile and plastic


All tucked in

All tucked in

Soil back in and grass planted!  All done.

6 thoughts on “Water Harvesting System In: very exciting green milestone.

  1. Congratulations on your move into the Green house – take it easy, thinking of you all,,, Schelley xxxx

  2. Actually, the main reason they are underground is that it ensures healthier water. Living in Africa above ground tanks are liable to huge microbial and bacterial growth and even algae. I also wish governments would be more conscious and offer incentives to home owners installing systems. I expect it will come as more and more strain is put on resources (especially in my country). So glad you are enjoying my blog 🙂

  3. I am surprise at how big of a tank you needed. It sounds like you took everything into consideration when estimating how much water your family would require. You have no water well ? But are you still connected to municipal water supply? I find it smart to use water catch system. It is interesting to see how it works for you when your family lives in it year around. Your project sounds fascinating. I have enjoyed following your progress.

    • Hi Honey. We are still connected to municipal water. There will be few months during winter (dry season in Durban) when the tanks may empty. We will then top up. Our intention is to be as self sufficient as possible but a larger tank wouldn’t have been cost effective because we would only need the extra capacity over a short period of low rainfall.

      • I was wondering if you had a redundant system. That was wise. I also assume that the reason the tanks was buried is to prevent evaporation. That was very wise. It is very impressive. I hope that the government realizes that this is the way of the future. I am enjoying following your blog.

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