File picture: City of Cape Town
Cape Town may have an added water source in just a matter of weeks as drilling began in Mitchells Plain yesterday at a site that forms part of the Cape Flats aquifer.

Once all the groundwater boreholes are integrated, it is expected that the Cape Flats aquifer will deliver 80 million litres per day, the Table Mountain Group aquifer 40 million litres a day, and the Atlantis aquifer 30 million litres a day.

At the Mitchells Plain Wastewater Treatment Plant yesterday, contractor Derek Whitfield from Environmental Drilling Remediation Services said these were “exciting times” and he was “optimistic” about the results the boreholes would yield.

“We are expecting between 50 000 and 100 000 litres an hour, which would give the city a million litres more a day than it’s currently getting,” he said.

He added that it would be “just a matter of weeks before this water gets into the taps”.

“We are currently drilling, monitoring and sinking exploration boreholes to target where the production holes are going to be drilled,” said Whitfield.

“Every borehole is like a piece in a puzzle. All the results we get go into producing the bigger picture and from that we understand the aquifer more and can utilise it sustainably. This is the first piece of the puzzle.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille visited the site yesterday.

“The groundwater abstraction projects form part of the City’s programme to supply additional water from desalination, water recycling and groundwater abstraction.

“This is the first time such an extensive mapping has been done,” De Lille said.

De Lille said the City would drill in Strandfontein, Philippi, Wesbank, Bishop Lavis and Khayelitsha to look for the best abstraction points to tap water from the Cape Flats aquifer.

“It is important that all residents must continue to save water, despite the City’s work to secure new water sources. I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres per day,” De Lille said.

“If we continue to use more than 500 million litres of water per day, we will reach Day Zero on April 22.”

In addition, the City yesterday announced they would start rolling out pressure management technology.

The first project would take place in Paarden Eiland today, affecting 367 customers.

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