Technical Possibilities for Langrug Upgrades


There are many important technical considerations to acknowledge while planning the WaSH facility.  Some important components that the final design should have include toilets, water taps, hand washing facilities, laundry sinks, and a fire hydrant. Many of the past Cape Town Project Centre designs have also included rainwater collection tanks. There are many options for each of these components. Currently we are looking at these options and the pros and cons of each of them. Once we are abroad we will collaborate with the cluster we are paired with and together we can narrow down the choices to decide on a final design that will be both successful, sustainable and be feasible to implement.

One of the most important things to consider while designing the WaSH facility is how to deal with the disposal of human waste. There are many options for toilet systems that deal with the solid and liquid waste in different ways. The designs that we looked into included both flush and non-flush options. The final design that is chosen will depend on a number of things including people’s preferences, the land and the different resources available. The different options for toilets are listed below. The different options for WaSH amenities are listed below:




While the main goal for these projects is to improve the lives of community members, trying to do so while being eco-friendly remains a key aspect to every project design. The 2007 project group built a communal laundry station in Monwabisi Park with practically zero waste. Furthermore, the laundry facility provides only biodegradable detergents for the laundry process (Alen 2007). The 2008 team also incorporated rainwater collection tanks into their design as the main water supply for the laundry and hand washing stations, along with means for garden irrigation for greywater drainage. The model sanitation centres designed by the 2009 and 2011 groups include urine divergent dry composting systems which not only make the toilets independent from any water source, but also produce potentially-usable compost for the benefit of the community. In addition, the 2010 project team implemented a sanitation system which treated greywater and blackwater separately. Greywater is collected into one holding tank and drained into a leach field, leaving open the possibility to recycle the greywater as flush water. After blackwater is collected into 2 tanks (separated into 3 chambers), a system very similar to an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR), it is also released into a separate leach field.


Sustainability has also been achieved in a variety of methods outside of community involvement. In planning and designing their communal laundry centre, the 2007 team realised the need for simplicity, not only as a way to ensure that any problems can be easily fixed, but also as a means to be replicated by other informal settlements (Alen 2007). The importance of simplicity is displayed throughout all projects that have been worked on by WPI at the Cape Town Project Centre. While designing the WaSH facility we must keep in mind the importance of simplicity. All parts of the facility should be replaceable with parts which can be easily transported to Langrug. Hopefully the design will also act as a prototype for more WaSH facilities to be implemented throughout Langrug and other informal settlements.