5. Laundry Station

Laundry Station


The plans for a laundry station in conjunction with the rest of the Water Centre designs are largely the same as the station installed by the 2007 Cape Town IQP team and burnt down in the 2008 Indlovu Centre fire. The designs include four steel basins with drain stoppers to promote water conservation. An educational piece will also be associated with the laundry centre to instruct users on ways to conserve water. Accommodations for on-site laundry drying, such as a mechanical wringer, will also be included.


System Components

  • Washing Basins
    • Four steel basins in square formation
    • Drain stopper
  • Water Taps
    • Commercial, suspended above basins
    • Design foot pedal system for water release
  • Drying Mechanism
    • Mechanical wringer or open-air drying rack

Design Considerations and Specifications

  • Target Usage: 200 users
  • Expected Daily Volume: Highly variable
  • Station Dimensions: 1 x 1 metre, with separate drying area
  • Basin Design: Shallow, 0.5 x 0.5 metres, with drain stopper for minimal water usage and maximum washing space
  • Tap Design: Volume controlled through foot pedal release
  • Drying Mechanism: Efficient wringer or multi-wrung rack for maximum exposure to air and sunlight, reduces water weight in transport and mildew from dampness
  • Eco-Friendly Detergent Option: Potential introduction by caretaker to minimize chemical content in grey water

Operational Plan

  • Station Maintenance: Caretaker to clean basins and taps, replace eco-friendly detergent if applicable.
  • Basin Runoff: Collected as grey water, tested, sent to soakaways.
  • User Education: Caretaker to explain tap operation, encourage water conservation, and provide eco-friendly detergent option.

Experimental Research Recommendations

  • Testing:
    • Test station grey water effluent, post-biofilter, for applicability to edible plants
    • Log grey water volumes produced (per user, per basin, per day)
    • Assess community use of laundry station

Background Research and Discussion

Laundry Facility constructed for Idlovu Centre in 2007

Laundry Facility constructed for Idlovu Centre in 2007

Due to the enormous volume of water used and grey water produced through laundry washing, recommendations from Kevin Winter reflect the 2007 IQP design of a small four-basin structure with limited space and basin capacity to further limit water use. Another consideration provided by Dr. Winter is the volatile nature of the detergent used for laundry, and the people’s relative unwillingness to change to a more eco-friendly, often more expensive soap variety. This poses the potential for the Shaster Foundation attempted without success to introduce an eco -friendly detergent at the earlier laundry facility, but a renewed effort, by a dedicated caretaker, is warranted to try to reduce contamination of ground water.

Accommodations for on-site laundry drying should also being considered, space permitting. Once dampened, the laundry that some residents must transport many metres from their homes is significantly heavier, and providing drying accommodations as simple as a mechanical wringer or open-air drying rack would greatly reduce the strain on the laundry station users.

To read more about the 2007 Laundry Station design, click here[PDF 3.21 MB].

Toilets, Urinals, and Primary Waste Management – Composting & PasteurizationImproved Taps – Hand Washing Station – Laundry Station – Grey Water Management SchemeCaretaker OfficeFacility Perimeter