Greywater Irrigation | Upington Referral Hospital

Project Info

  • Category

    Greywater, Hospitals, Public Works

Irrigation Works

In brief, the greywater irrigation system installed, builds water resilience. The system consists of 95% drip tubing- which has efficiencies of upto 95%. To begin with, a filtration plant supplies the hospital with filtered, sterile water. At that point, the greywater derived from this process, along with additional autoclave water (a byproduct of the hospital sterilization process), diverts to irrigation tanks.

Thereafter, three x 10 000 litre tanks stores the greywater. This greywater is pumped into the irrigation system via a booster pump. Variable speed drives control the pump, and the necessary heat and dry run protection is present. Additionally, automatic flushing filters( to 130 microns) reduces filtering and maintenance requirements.

Variable speed drives on the pumps control and regulates pressure. Trees are irrigated with pressure compensated bubblers and a small lawn area is irrigated with rotory sprinklers with matched precipitation rates.

Flow sensors, on the irrigation system mainline, detects any surge in flow due to a broken pipe or sprinkler. The sensor sends signals that closes the master valve, eliminating further water wastage. A SMS alerts  maintenance  of the fault, which they can address immediately.

Irrigation Design |  Irrigation Consulting | Cape Town, South Africa

Solving Challenge

Upington has extreme heat and so all drip pipe installation occurred early in the morning to mitigate pipe expansion/ contraction issues.  Within this arid region, it’s especially important to manage water as a key resource. Water loss to evaporation is negligible when irrigating with a drip system. In order to make the theoretical benefits of drip irrigation a reality,  supervision and snagging of construction confirmed proper installation. Just as importantly, a strict maintenance schedule is specified.


In brief, the Upington site is an extremely arid area typical of the southern Kalahari Desert. Despite Upington’s location on the lower desert reaches of Orange River  it’s assumed that even here, water resources shall become less available in the medium to long term future. Installation of soft and partial soft landscape  occurred in courtyards, between the hospital building and staff housing areas.

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