New water conservation technology at Sterkfontein Caves
This week is National Water Week and Maropeng is excited to celebrate it in light of the new ozone wastewater purifications system recently constructed at the Sterkfontein Caves. This innovative new system utilises ozone from the atmosphere to accelerate the breaking down of solids by bacteria and also to sterilise water. It was designed to replace Sterkfontein’s septic tanks and provide a far more eco-friendly solution to waste management in the area.
People visit the Cradle of Humankind to learn more about the origins of humankind and human development. Maropeng believes that this knowledge should go hand in hand with a better understanding of the importance of protecting our planet. Maropeng also aims to promote taking steps toward fostering sustainability and conserving our natural resources.
Maropeng is constantly aware of the impact we, as human beings, have on the planet, and continues to promote and strive toward finding eco-friendly solutions to everyday living. In an effort to further this, Maropeng is involved in a number of green initiatives.
Maropeng’s Maintenance Manager Mark Fouché believes that this new system will make a huge difference to the processing of water at Maropeng. “We need to move towards more environmentally friendly technology that is less labour-intensive,” he says. “This new system only requires one person to maintain it, two days a week, and has also lowered our [carbon] footprint.
“As a World Heritage Site, we need to set an example for the rest of society. We need to educate our children so they start thinking that this is the way forward. We need to look at what we’re putting back into our environment. If you look at [the state of] rivers and dams, they are the first signs of an unhealthy environment. Through implementing this new system, we’re confident that what we’re putting back into the environment is not harmful.”
This latest green project runs along the same vein as Maropeng’s “artificial” wetland system called a Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetland System (SSF CWS), which is specially designed to naturally assist the filtering and cleansing of the site’s grey and black water. This has been in existence at Maropeng since it first opened.
Other green projects close to Maropeng’s eco-friendly heart include biodegradable packaging and eating utensils, the rechargeable torch batteries used by Maropeng’s tour guides, conference notepads and pencils made using recycled paper, low-energy lighting and a variety of preservation efforts to protect indigenous fauna and flora in the area.
Visitors can learn more about environmental sustainability when they visit the exhibitions at Maropeng.