21 February 2018

South Africa: H2o International Suspends Water Refills Ahead of Day Zero

Water purification company H2O International has suspended walk-in water refills to prevent water wastage and stockpiling in drought-stricken Cape Town.

The Cape Town company suspended their water walk-in service on February 1, 2018, until an alternative source of non-municipal water could be found, CEO Tony Marchesini said in a statement.

"We had no idea that the weekend before that date, there would be a run on our stores as panic water buying set in. As we do not condone stockpiling, we were horrified," said Marchesini.

H2O International filters tap water through their purification systems at their franchise outlets and fill their clients' water containers at a filtration fee of R1 a litre.

"When restrictions kicked in, our filtered water was supposed to form part of every purchaser's 87l quota," said Marchesini.

"We do not use reverse osmosis technology and there is no water wastage whatsoever using our system, but we were concerned about contributing to the depletion of the water supply."

Water crisis

Marchesini explained that the water refill service was not part of the company's business model, but rather a service supplied to clients who would one day purchase their own filtration systems.

"Ninety percent of our business is the sale of water purifiers. We have over 450 filtration products and have forged an excellent reputation for quality systems and outstanding service," he said.

"We are inundated with queries from Capetonians regarding how to get their groundwater up to potable drinking standards."

Marchesini said H2O International was in the process of planning various initiatives to assist with the water crisis in the Western Cape.

"This includes sourcing alternative water resources as well as possibly trucking in prepared, bottled water for the more vulnerable citizens in the region," he added.

"As a guardian of good clean water, we are proud of being part of the solution."

Day Zero has been pushed back from the June 4 to July 9.

Source: News24

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