Wynberg Improvement District

Tougher water restrictions proposed
Tougher water restrictions proposed

A move to intensify water restrictions comes as a result of diminishing dam levels and consistent water use above the daily water usage targets.

‘So many of our residents have really gone above and beyond the call of duty to save water. They have been selfless and have been true water ambassadors for us. Sadly, this cannot be said about all of our residents and our water usage has been consistently above the target. We will continue to take action against these culprits and will target the city’s top 20 000 high water users – the majority of whom reside in formal areas of the metro. We are committed to bringing this group to book. They are scuppering all of our efforts to bring down water usage.

‘Within the next week, we plan to conduct increased door-to-door visits, issue more fines where applicable, and focus strongly on education and awareness. We’ll work together with our peace officers, law enforcement officers, councillors, and our newly appointed area-based mayoral committee members.

‘We will continue to do everything in our power to further reduce water usage in our own City operations. We are also requesting our religious leaders to pray for rain.

‘We must remember that formal residential consumers are by far the biggest users of potable water in the municipality, consuming approximately 70% of total water supplied. In winter, residential consumption levels are substantially lower. Therefore, if residents could use the same amount of water that they use during the winter rainy season, the current consumption would definitely go down.

‘Our approach to water supply and sustainability is a long-term one where we are looking decades ahead at reliable water supply management and conservation. We have the systems in place now and going into the future. We can turn this situation around now if we all work together,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

The City is also engaging with the Western Cape Government and the National Government to ensure that they assist with efforts to minimise water usage.

The City will continue to implement its other key initiatives for water management and conservation, such as:

  • more innovative water pressure management systems to reduce water leakage
  • finding and repairing underground water leaks
  • replacing ageing water mains
  • improving response times for repairing pipe bursts
  • promoting the use of treated effluent (recycled water) or borehole water instead of drinking water for irrigation purposes;
  • offering plumbing repairs for indigent households free of charge
  • introducing the stepped tariff system of billing
  • monitoring water losses from our systems
  • future roll-out of water demand management devices in the future
  • creating awareness for water-saving, school visits and communication

New restrictions, if adopted by Council, will include the following:

Level 3

Watering/irrigation (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, lawns, flower beds and other plants, vegetable gardens, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only if using a bucket or watering can. No use of hosepipes or automatic sprinkler systems is allowed. Watering times are not restricted, however, residents are urged to limit their watering to the mornings and evenings.

No watering/irrigation is allowed within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

Washing (using potable water) of vehicles and boats only is allowed if using a bucket.

Level 3b

Watering/irrigation (with municipal drinking water) of flower beds, lawns, vegetables and other plants, sports fields, parks and other open spaces is allowed only on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day per property and only if using a bucket or watering can. No use of hosepipes or any sprinkler systems allowed.

No watering/irrigation is allowed within 48 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well-points are not exempt.

No washing of vehicles or boats using municipal drinking water is allowed. Vehicles and boats must be washed with non-potable water or washed at a commercial carwash.

Further to the above:

  • No washing of vehicles, including taxis, using municipal drinking water at transport interchanges will be allowed
  • No more irrigation using potable water will be permitted at City facilities
  • No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies

All exemptions granted under Level 3 are being reviewed with the possibility of being revoked with the option for reapplication. Current water users with exemptions under Level 3 must adhere to Level 3b irrigation days and times.

In addition to the adoption of Level 3b restrictions, the Mayoral Committee has recommended that:

  • the Executive Director: Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services be authorised to further amend the Level 3 water restriction measures as deemed necessary and publish revised measures accordingly, as prescribed in the City’s Water By-law
  • the proposed Level 3B water restriction measures be implemented until lifted by the Executive Director: Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services

Restrictions still applicable to all customers:

  • Borehole/well-point water must be used efficiently to avoid wastage and evaporation. Borehole/well-point water users are strongly encouraged to follow the same watering times as applicable to drinking water use detailed above
  • All boreholes and well-points must be registered with the City and the official City of Cape Town signage must be displayed and be clearly visible from a public thoroughfare (residents can visit the City’s website for how to register)
  • All properties where alternative, non-potable water resources are used (including rainwater harvesting, grey water reuse, treated effluent water and spring water) must display signage to this effect clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. Residents can visit the City’s website for more information: capetown.gov.za/thinkwater
  • No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with drinking water is allowed (except for health purposes). Users, such as abattoirs, food-processing industries, industries using water to prepare for painting or similar treatments, care facilities, animal shelters and other industries or facilities with special needs can apply to the Director: Water and Sanitation Management for exemption
  • Using drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is strongly discouraged. If drinking water is used, the water fountains or water features must operate by recycling the water

Restrictions still applicable to residential customers

  • Customers are strongly encouraged to install water-efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components
  • Manual topping up of swimming pools is allowed only if fitted with a pool cover. No automatic top-up systems are allowed
  • The use of portable or any temporary play pools is prohibited
  • No increase of the indigent water allocation over and above the free 350 litres a day will be granted, unless through prior application and permission for specific events such as burial ceremonies

Restrictions still applicable to non-residential customers

  • Commercial car-wash industries must comply with industry best practice norms regarding water usage per car washed
  • Informal car washes must use only buckets and not hosepipes
  • The use of fitted pool covers for public swimming pools is strongly encouraged where practically possible
  • No automatic top-up systems for swimming pools are allowed
  • Spray parks must be strictly managed to minimise water wastage
  • Customers must install water-efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use from all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components in public places and adhere to Water By-law requirements
  • Golf courses, sports facilities, parks, schools and learning institutions are not allowed to establish any new landscaping or sports fields, except if irrigated only with non-potable water
  • For users supplied with water in terms of special contracts (notarial deeds, water service intermediaries or water service providers), the contract conditions shall apply

Customers should note that water pressure may be reduced to limit water leaks and that slight changes in water taste and clarity may occur due to low dam levels. For further information, residents can visit our water restrictions page on the website: www.capetown.gov.za/thinkwater. Customers can also contact the City via email to  water.restrictions@capetown.gov.za for queries or to report contraventions.

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