Tygerberg Hospital’s Water Treatment Plant slashes water bill by more than 90% | Western Cape Government


Tygerberg Hospital’s Water Treatment Plant slashes water bill by more than 90%

28 February 2024

Tygerberg Hospital’s Water Treatment Plant slashes municipal water bill by more than 90% 

Today, 28 February 2024, Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Professor Nomafrench Mbombo visited Tygerberg Hospital to inspect its Water Treatment Plant and recently revitalised Central Laundry.

The addition of this infrastructure not only cements the crucial role which Tygerberg Hospital plays in the public healthcare system, but also is an example as to what hospitals can strive towards in a world that is being impacted climate change. 

Water Treatment Plant

While commissioned in 2019, the hospital’s water treatment plant was previously running at a lower capacity and supplying water to the Central Laundry. Following approval to supply water to Tygerberg Hospital’s two reservoirs from the City of Cape Town, the potable water supplied from the plant has drastically reduced the hospital’s water bill.

The water for this plant is sourced from the hospital’s seven functional boreholes which were installed after the once-in-a-century drought spread across the Western Cape.

Currently, the plant treats approximately 38 000 – 50 000 litres of water per hour (litres/hour) from the boreholes. Depending on the supply of water from the boreholes, the final product of potable water from the reverse osmosis (RO) plant is approximately 23 000 – 42 000 litres/hour.

Prior to the installation of the water treatment plant, it cost the hospital approximately R2 million per month depending on demand (in pre-2019 prices). When the water treatment plant was first operational, the hospital spent, on average, R1.1 million per month. With the RO plant now running at full production, the water bill during the festive season (15 December – 12 January) was only R43 820.

Even though this number was recorded during a period where the water demand was generally lower, the impact of this reduction is still significant and contributes towards the hospitals efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. 

Revitalised Central Laundry

Originally built in the 1970s, the revitalisation of the Central Laundry not only improved its capacity but was essential to its functioning.

Prior to the upgrades, the facility was experiencing ageing equipment and infrastructure that was at a risk of failing. For this reason, the Department made the decision to overhaul the Central Laundry and it is now considered the most advanced of its kind in the country.

The revitalisation project comprised of two upgrades: R126 million for equipment and R11 million for infrastructure.

In terms of the infrastructure, the following was included: upgraded staff amenities, new steam lines, electrical rewiring, new LED lighting, new air conditioning and a new epoxy floor to name a few. Regarding the new equipment that was purchased, the upgrades included the installation and commissioning of three new washing units.

The Central Laundry caters for 64 healthcare facilities in the metro, which includes Tygerberg Hospital, and also services the entire Cape Winelands District. This service is supported by approximately 94 staff members, who also played an essential role during the pandemic when providing laundry services to the CTICC Hospital of Hope and Brackengate Hospital of Hope. As a result of this upgrade, the Central Laundry is now capacitated to handle service demand for decades to come while also ensuring the reduction of its carbon footprint.

Minister Mbombo commented during the visit that, “The investment into these pieces of infrastructure is not only about ensuring that our facilities become more efficient; it is also about ensuring that they become greener and ensure that we can deliver healthcare without harm. Healthcare is one of the most crucial services in society yet is often one of the worst contributors towards pollution and climate change. I am immensely proud of the work which our Department is doing to combat these effects and I look forward to how such examples provide a foundation for future innovation in our service delivery.”