City of Cape Town Water Restrictions

Water restrictions
The City of Cape Town has implemented Level 2 water restrictions, effective from 1 January 2016 until further notice.

 

As we are situated in a water-scarce region, the City imposes Level 1 restrictions (10% water savings) at all times. Because the City’s dam levels are lower than the norm, Level 2 restrictions(20% savings) have been implemented to preserve the long-term sustainability of the resource.

 

20% reduction water tariffs

 

With Level 2 restrictions approved, customers will be charged from 1 January 2016 according to 20% reduction tariffs (water | sanitation) to encourage greater water-use efficiency. The tariff is designed to be revenue-neutral when applied to the 10% reduced consumption levels. In other words, if an average customer reduces their consumption by 10%, their bill should remain at a similar rand value. Indigent customers’ free allocation will not be affected. The free first 6 kl of water and 4.2 kl of sanitation a month for all residents will also not be affected.

Water restriction measures

Residents have to abide by the following:

Restrictions applicable to all customers

 

  • Watering (with drinking water from municipal supply) of gardens, flower beds, sports fields, parks, lawns and other open spaces are allowed only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for a maximum of one hour per premises either before 09:00 or after 16:00. This includes watering with buckets or automated sprinkler systems.
  • No watering will be permitted within 24 hours of rainfall that provides adequate saturation. Facilities/customers making use of boreholes or other sources are not exempt from this.
  • When watering gardens, parks, open spaces, etc. with alternative water resources (e.g. boreholes, wellpoints, grey water re-use, treated effluent water, spring water and rain water harvesting) you are encouraged to do so only before 09:00 or after 16:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • If alternative water sources (e.g. boreholes, wellpoints, grey water re-use, treated effluent water, spring water and rain water harvesting) are utilised, all customers must ensure that they display appropriate signage clearly visible from a public thoroughfare. See guidelines for signage below.
  • Special users (e.g. golf courses and schools) can apply to the Director: Water & Sanitation for special exemption.
  • No automatic top-up systems are allowed for swimming pools. It is recommended that all swimming pools be covered by a pool cover to avoid evaporation when not in use.
  • Ornamental water fountains and water features are to be operated only by recycling the water.

Restrictions applicable to residential customers

 

  • Washing of vehicles (including recreational vehicles and watercraft) is only allowed with hosepipes fitted with automatic self-closing devices, or with waterless products.
  • No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with drinking water from a tap is allowed.
  • Residents are encouraged to replace all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components with water efficient parts or technologies.
  • Residents who wish to apply for an exemption can apply to the City’s Director: Water and Sanitation.

Restrictions applicable to businesses (commercial and industrial)

  • Watering of plants in nurseries, farms, vegetable gardens, etc. for commercial gain will be exempted from water restrictions on application to the Director: Water and Sanitation.
  • When washing vehicles or equipment, use only water efficient or water recycling technology and equipment or waterless products. Display of water saving and water efficiency messages is encouraged.
  • Informal car washes are to use only buckets and not hosepipes.
  • Washing of paving and hard surfaces with potable water is prohibited. However, areas where prior permission in writing has been granted (such as for abattoirs and food processing industries) will be exempt (apply here).
  • All taps, showerheads and other plumbing components in public places must be replaced with water efficient parts or technologies.

Restrictions applicable to institutions and government departments

  • Watering of plants in Council and other government nurseries will be exempted from the water restrictions on application to the Director: Water and Sanitation.
  • Washing of vehicles is only allowed with hosepipes fitted with automatic self-closing devices, or with waterless products.
  • No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with drinking water from a tap is allowed.
  • All taps, showerheads and other plumbing components in public places must be replaced with water efficient parts or technologies.

 

Applying for special exemption
If you would like to apply for special exemption, please email a completed Special Exemption Application form to the Director: Water and Sanitation at Water.Restrictions@capetown.gov.za.
Signage for irrigation using alternative water sources
As indicated above, appropriate signage, clearly visible from a public thoroughfare, must be displayed at all properties where alternative water sources are used for irrigation.
Wellpoints and boreholes should be registered. Click here for more information or apply for registration at Borehole.water@capetown.gov.za. After registration you will receive the necessary display sign free of charge.
Appropriate signage is required for irrigation using grey water re-use, spring water or rain water harvesting. You are encouraged to download, print and laminate the City of Cape Town non-potable water sign (click here to download), although other suitable signage is permitted. This should be printed A4 landscape.

Possible changes in water pressure, clarity and taste

 

Residents are advised that changes to the bulk water distribution system could intermittently impact on clarity or taste within some areas of the northern and central suburbs of the city. These changes became necessary due to the low level of the Voëlvlei Dam. In addition, water pressure may be reduced to 2.5 bars in order to limit water leaks from underground pipes and faulty plumbing fittings.

 

Resultant flow changes in some of the water pipelines may temporarily cause cloudiness or a slight discolouration in the water. Residents with sensitive palates may also notice a slight change in the taste of their water, as it will now be coming from a mix of sources.

Water consumers in several parts of the city may also have experienced an earthy taste and odour to their drinking water caused by low levels of Geosmin in dam waters. We would like to reassure residents that this is a naturally occurring compound and is neither toxic nor harmful to health. Water quality is monitored continuously and all water supplied will be entirely safe for human consumption.

 

Residents and visitors are assured that the City is working proactively to manage available water resources and reduce the effects of Geosmin in the source waters, concentrations of which are anticipated to increase with lower dam levels and hot, windy conditions.

 

For queries on water restrictions, contact us on Water.Restrictions@capetown.gov.za.

The City thanks residents for their cooperation and understanding.
Additional links

 

Complaints can be called in to 0860 103089, sms’ed to31373, or emailed to WaterTOC@capetown.gov.za

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