Thursday 19th Sep 2019

Peter Thomas - Cape Argus - 

The Wattapac bladder has already saved millions of litres of water. Picture: Supplied - 

Cape Town - Wattapac, a recently designed water bladder, is taking the plumbing industry by storm, already saving over two million litres of water since its distribution in late 2017.
The bladder is an ingenious design created by experienced plumber Charles Watt and manufacturer Charles Beresford. Currently used by over 200 plumbers across South Africa, Watt says that Wattapac is “a plumbing essential” for geyser replacements and maintenance as it removes water wastage entirely from the process.

Simply put, when changing a hot water cylinder, a plumber traditionally drains the water inside the tank before undertaking maintenance. Once the maintenance is complete, the plumber then refills the tank, drawing huge amounts of water from Cape Town’s already depleted reservoirs.

To Watt, this behaviour is inconceivable when such a simple solution is available. “Think about it this way, your tank has a 200 litre capacity and the hot water cylinder breaks. Your plumber has to drain all of this and then refill it after he finishes (the repair). That’s 400 litres - 80 five-litre bottles of water. And we’ve been in a drought for the last few years!” 

Not only does Wattapac save water, it also greatly reduces the turnaround time for geyser repairs and replacements, allowing plumbers to drain and refill 200 litre tanks in approximately 15 minutes. Compared to particularly difficult jobs which can take up to two hours without the product, Watt says using the product really is a no-brainer. “Not only are you saving time as a plumber, clients are happy because workers aren’t in the house for long periods. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Water restrictions remain in place, despite good rains recently. Watt believes it's still necessary to remain extra-vigilant on water usage. “We’ve had this rain which is fantastic, but the dams are still only around 50% full. What happens if we get no rain for another year or two? Cape Town was brought to its knees after the recent drought. We still need to be careful with our water usage, we’re certainly not out of the woods yet.”

Watt and Beresford are hoping to access a broader market in the near future and are currently producing larger bladders for industrial jobs to help save even more water.

Wattapac is on sale for R2780 direct from Wattapac (Pty) Ltd and is available to both plumbers and the general public.
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