File photo: Ross Jansen.

Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg is urging residents to adhere to the Level 1 water restrictions already in place as a planned shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) tunnel system continues.

Earlier this year, the department of Water and Sanitation announced that the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which delivers water to the Vaal River System is going to "shut down for maintenance" later in the year from October 1 to November 30 2019.

The shutdown by the department was gazetted on 13 September 2019 and all Gauteng water users will be expected to use water responsibly as no water transfers to the Vaal River System will be possible during the shutdown. 

This is because the tunnel will be drained for the inspection and maintenance.

MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services Nico de Jager in a statement urged residents to adhere to the current water restrictions still in full force. 

"It is critical that water conservation remains a strong priority among residents of the city. We need to work together to ensure a continuous water supply. The city wishes to avoid limitations on reservoirs due to high water demand outstripping supply. 

"The city relies on water supply from other provinces that feed into the Vaal Dam system and we should always be mindful of the amount of water we use daily," he said.

De Jager reminded residents of the restrictions in place, which include:

  1. Watering of gardens is not allowed between 6 am and 6 pm in summer months (1 Sept to 31 March);
  2. Residents are not allowed to wash paved areas and driveways using hose pipes; and
  3. Residents are urged to report any water leaks they come across.

He also urged residents to take note of the following water saving tips, which not only reduces use but also the amount payable to the city at the end of the month:

  • Not to leave taps dripping;
  • Wash your car on the grass, this will water your lawn at the same time;
  • Shorten your showering time;
  • Use a glass of water to rinse when brushing your teeth;
  • Take shallow baths and avoid filling your bath to a depth greater than 100mm; and,
  • Re-use grey water to water your garden or pot plants. 

"Water restrictions will be enforced by fines to consumers who contravene the Water Services By-law," De Jager said.

IOL