Root Watering Irrigation System | Mitchells Plain Hospital

Project Info

Root Watering Irrigation System Works

A root watering irrigation system helps protect the 900 trees. Installation is below grade and so it’s highly efficient. This particular root watering system waters deeply at the root level. An open grid allows air to flow around the roots. As a result, trees then form a stable foundation and this additionally protects them from the windy climate.

This is particularly relevant as it ensures tree health and accelerated growth. A borehole provides irrigation water and it subsequently recharges via storm water.  Water is pumped and stored in water tanks, with a reserve  capacity of  100 000l.

Low flow sprinkler nozzles ensure that the system can operate at low pressure . Water is also distributed more uniformly.  Additionally, water soaks into the soil and these sprinklers prevent misting and runoff. Rain sensors stop irrigation when it rains. Because of this the technology provides an estimated 15-20% water savings.

Pressure compensated drip lines, positioned in the courtyards,  apply water directly to plant roots. The result is reduction in wasteful evaporation. Maintenance is simplified by use of a remote control. It means that technicians can remotely turn stations on and off. As a result, a single individual can inspect the vast system.

Irrigation Design Irrigation Consulting |
Cape Town, South Africa


Solving Challenges

Solid calcrete bed-rock created significant site challenges. The irrigation system and pipe positions is designed and installed around these deposits. Hazards to wheelchairs are reduced by placing high pop sprinklers against all kerbs and pathways. High-efficiency sprinkler nozzles reduce wind drift by throwing heavier water drops



In brief, this is a vast site and interestingly a specific endangered fynbos species grows on the grounds. Site extent is 63,768 square meters. Further elements include gabion walls,  physical therapy and indoor children gardens.  The Mitchells Plain Aquifer acts as the water source and additionally has a borehole sunk into it.  Stormwater ultimately recharges the aquifer. The series of swales and detention ponds also collect irrigation water. The result, in the heart of the Cape Flats, is the restoration of a self-sustaining ecosystem.


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