Save water now, or pay bigger bills

NOT ON TAP: Reducing the flow of water from household taps could save on water bills. Photo: Cindy Waxa

NOT ON TAP: Reducing the flow of water from household taps could save on water bills. Photo: Cindy Waxa

Published Nov 1, 2016


From Tuesday, residents have to use less water or face paying more from next month.

The City implemented level-three water restrictions and for the next month the cost of water will be between R16.54 a kilolitre and R40.96 a kilolitre depending on how much water is used. The first six kilolitres remain free.

The stepped tariff works on the more you use the more you pay basis.

The lowest will be R16.54 a kilolitre up to 10.5 kilolitres. Residents who use between 20 kilolitres and 35 kilolitres will pay R40.96 a kilolitre.

Compared to the same time last year, the major dams providing Cape Town with water are down from 71.1 percent to 60.3 percent. Last week, dam levels stood at 61.1 percent.

Some of the stringent restrictions from today are:

Vehicles and boats can only be washed using a bucket.

Pools can only be topped up if the pool has a cover; and no automatic top-up systems are allowed.

Portable play pools are prohibited.

Residents are urged to install water-efficient parts, fittings and technologies to minimise water use at all taps, showerheads and other plumbing components

Hosepipes and sprinklers are not allowed; gardens have to be watered using buckets and watering cans.

Hard and paved surfaces cannot be washed or hosed down, except for health purposes.

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 of the City’s Water and Sanitation Department for exemption.

Ornamental water fountains and features can only used if the water is recycled or if it is non-potable.

No watering or irrigation is allowed 24 hours after saturating rain – facilities/customers making use of boreholes, treated effluent water, spring water or well points are not exempt.

In a press statement, mayoral committee member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said due to the low dam levels, water may have a strange taste.

This is caused by Geosmin, which is naturally occurring and is not harmful.

Because of the low level of the Theewaterskloof dam (51.3) the City has changed the bulk water distribution system. Sonnenberg says this could at times impact on the clarity or taste of water in the northern and central suburbs.

To limit water leaks, the City is also reducing water pressure and this means taps may flow slower.

The new tariffs only come into effect in December.

To query water restrictions, residents can contact the City via e-mail to: [email protected]

Related Topics: