Saving water a joint effort for kids and business

‘We can all do our share’ was the message from SWE on World Water Day this year.

More familiar with designing systems pumping thousands of litres per minute than schoolyards, recently our water engineers have been working on a smaller scale, installing rainwater tanks at Springlands School.

The project was part of Springlands School’s commitment to the New Zealand Enviro-schools programme. School principal Gaylene Beattie says “as a ‘Green and Gold’ school the rainwater collection is part of our continual efforts to ‘step up’ and improve our environmental practices”.

Stephen Leitch, Managing Director at SWE, says “Water is the reason we’re here and is vital for the sustainability of our industries in the region…whether it’s in the vineyards or our communities, it makes sense for us to protect it. The Springlands School project was a no-brainer…it has the dual benefit of protecting our water resource for future generations and teaching those same future generations about the value and sustainable use of water.”

He admits that the project has a feel good factor too, with his team getting a kick from working with the school.

World Water Day 2014

The rainwater collection and usage was spearheaded by the school’s GO MAD environmental action team who developed the initial plan, with support from parents and teachers. Southern Water Engineering then donated their expertise to design a system to capture and store rain water for use by the school and also donated the storage tanks themselves.

The new system, which has now been installed, has been designed to meet the existing school needs and to allow for expansion in the future. Rainwater is collected from the classroom roofs and uses gravity to flow into two new storage tanks. The water will then be used by students for the World Water Day at Springlands School (2)gardens around the school. In future, the system could be extended to provide water for other school uses, including in the nearby bathrooms. For now, students are excited about the next stage – researching options for the tanks’ decoration.


The Springlands School project is part of SWE’s commitment to community involvement. It is the inaugural project in an annual series to promote World Water Day by supporting a community water conservation and sustainability initiative each year.