Hold on to your Hats, Western Cape, Here comes the Wetland-in-a-Box™
The City of Cape Town (CoCT) Metro laid a groundbreaking foundation for Innovators to submit ideas and solutions to their first Water & Sanitation Indaba, at the illustrious Century City Convention Center, from 21 to 23 March 2023. I wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Meagan Donnelly and the rest of the CoCT Team of Facilitators that organized this momentous event in absolute stellar fashion.
We, of course, submitted our Wetland-in-a-Box™ technology idea in late February, as one of the first Innovators to do so, and was invited to exhibit, together with 32 other Innovators.
But fate stepped in, also in February, when we concluded the Service Level Agreement with the Head of the Scientific Department of the Department of Water & Sanitation (DWS), in support of his PhD Study, at the University of Pretoria, entitled:
Evaluating the performance of a hybrid constructed wetland for the remediation of municipal effluent as an alternative to failing wastewater treatment works.
where he selected the Wetland-in-a-Box™ as the most suitable “…hybrid constructed wetland…” technology to facilitate the Study. And, what’s more, our very own Dr Anthony Mader has been selected to be Co-Supervisor to the Study (as Industry Expert) and yours truly as the Technical Specialist tasked with building the mobile Wetland-in-a-Box™ laboratory and ongoing support and maintenance over the term of the Study. Fate strike one!
And then, again in late February, we were commissioned by Mr. Rory Masureik of Klipheuwel (some 30 minutes away from Century City), to implement the very first domestic Wetland-in-a-Box™ application (4 x Bioreactors) in the Western Cape, to repurpose saline/sodic groundwater for irrigation purposes. Fate strike two!
Dr Johan (Jo) Kruger and I flew down to CTN on Monday night, 20 March, and on Tuesday we set up the demo model and four high-gloss A1 posters (thanks to Jo for his gracious contribution) in our allocated booth 21 (see the video below), situated in the best possible position. Fate strike three!
And then we found that we were the very first, out of 33 Innovators across 4 themes, to present to our theme’s panel of experts on Wednesday at 13:00 (10-minute time-slot with 5 minutes Q&A; no pressure!). Fate strike four!
We arrived at the venue on Wednesday morning and waited with abated breath for the Indaba to be formally opened just after 11:00 by Mr Geordin Hill-Lewis, Executive Mayor, with an introduction to the Innovation Showcase (see video below).
And then, after his opening speech, booth 21 was the very first to be visited by Mr Hill-Lewis (see, fate hit the third time to make this a reality…), where we demonstrated the Wetland-in-a-Box™ vertical up flow patent (with the demo model) to him and his entourage. “I will be watching this space…” was the parting words from a member of the Mayor’s entourage (I will still get his name). Fate strike five!
And then, on Thursday, one of our Co-exhibitors approached me with a proposition to prepare a quotation for a single bioreactor application for his swimming pool (we talked about it on Wednesday afternoon), in Centurion, Gauteng, so that he can replace the traditional chemical treatment (chlorine and hydrochloric acid) for natural, biological treatment, found in the Wetland-in-a-Box™. Fate strike six!
So, how many strikes does it take to realize that fate (or Divine intervention) is at work here? SIX! In the space of 6 weeks, and in a sequence so surreal it smacks you with a Mike Tyson uppercut straight in the face! I don’t believe for one moment that this is simply random occurrences of luck.
Watch this space, indeed! Wetland-in-a-Box™ is getting Wiiings, and not the Red Bull kind…
Gerhard Janse van Rensburg
PS – Check out our online Wetland-in-a-Box™ brochure here: https://gt421.cip21.online/about/wiab/
Apologies for the poor audio visual quality of these videos.