The Nooitgedacht Low Level water scheme in Port Elizabeth is in some ways the city's "saving grace". Picture:ANA

Port Elizabeth - As the Eastern Cape drought continues, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Thursday called on residents who were granted restriction exemptions to re-apply, as old exemptions were now no longer valid. 

Municipality spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki said that failure to re-apply and the continuation of water usage in terms of the old exemptions would result in the metro imposing water restriction penalties.  

"This will not only hit the affected consumers' pockets hard; it will also force the Municipality to install water meter restrictors on the relevant properties to limit usage".

Mniki said that this followed the announcement of Water Restrictions Notice 4 late last month.  

In terms of Water Restrictions Notice 4 the following must be adhered to:  

- No use of hosepipes is allowed (to water gardens, wash cars, hose down walls or paving, top up pools, fountains or ponds, etc.), unless: - The water is from a source other than municipal potable water. - The water is used for fire-fighting purposes.

- No use of municipal water supply is allowed for watering plants, unless: - The water is carried in a hand-held container - The water is from a source other than municipal - The water is used at a commercial, municipal or state nursery (where watering must take place using hand held containers if municipal water is used). 

- No use of sprinklers or irrigation systems is allowed, unless the water is from a source other than municipal potable water. 

- All building contractors must use treated effluent, collected from Fishwater Flats Waste Water Treatment Works or any other appropriate wastewater treatment works at which disposal facilities exist, other than for concrete work. 

- All borehole users must register with the Municipality and abide by the legislative conditions applicable to the use of borehole water for domestic use on the property only. 

- No use of automatic urinal flushing systems is allowed. Mniki said that all residents were encouraged to limit their water consumption to 50 litres per person per day and households to limit their overall consumption to 400 litres per day or 12kl per month.  

He added that additional stricter measures would be imposed on high domestic users, contractors and borehole users: All domestic users using more than 30 kℓ per month of water will be given four weeks' notice to fix leaks or reduce their water consumption, failing which a flow meter restrictor will be installed to limit their water usage, as it is regarded as being wasteful use in terms of Clause 65 of the Water and Sanitation Services By-Law. 

Borehole water from trial holes will be made available free of charge for non-potable use at the Motherwell Cemetery, under strict access conditions. The volume per use will be as directed by the NMBM Executive Director: Infrastructure and Engineering. 

All current and future borehole users and drilling contractors must, in terms of Clause 83 of the NMBM Water and Sanitation By-Law, register at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (Infrastructure and Engineering Director: Water and Sanitation – Water Distribution). 

Mniki said that with immediate effect, the metro would enforce by-laws around water consumption at car washes and residential complexes. Car washes recycle 60% of municipal water used. All multi-dwelling precincts such as blocks of flats, townhouse complexes, retirement villages and sectional title complexes are required to install water meters to measure the water supplied to each individual unit, at the cost of the body controlling the relevant precinct.

African News Agency/ANA