Topping up or filling of swimming pools with municipal drinking water is allowed subject to certain conditions. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has announced that it will lower water restrictions from Level 5 to Level 3 from Saturday, December 1. The decision to relax the restrictions was based on the National Department of Water and Sanitation’s latest water assessment.

The welcome relaxation of the restrictions was announced by Mayor Dan Plato on Thursday. 

With the introduction of Level 3 restrictions, the daily usage limits will increase from 70 litres per person per day to 105 litres per person per day and collectively usage will increase from 500 million litres to 650 million litres per day.

Ratepayers can also expect a significant reduction in the tariffs they are currently paying.  Households who use less than 6 000 litres per month can expect to a 35,5% reduction on their monthly bill.

While the 40% restriction on water usage for businesses has been removed, owners are encouraged to continue finding and implementing water-wise solutions for their businesses.

The City says it views 2019 as a recovery year after the severe drought which plagued the province, but it is maintaining the fairly strict restriction level as a precaution to deal with rainfall uncertainty in 2019 and 2020.

These are the Level 3 guidelines for residential usage:

* Watering with municipal drinking water, using a bucket or watering can, is allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays before 09:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour per day, per property. Hosepipes or sprinkler systems are not allowed.

* Sports facilities, parks, schools, learning institutions, nurseries, customers involved in agricultural activities, users with historical gardens and customers with special requirements can apply to the Director: Water and Sanitation for exemption from the above.

* No watering/irrigation with municipal drinking water within 48 hours of rainfall, that provides adequate saturation, is allowed.

 * Topping up or filling of swimming pools with municipal drinking water is allowed, subject to 
    1). The pool being covered with a non-permeable solid pool cover when not in use; and 
    2). The recovery of backwash water and the use of rainwater for pool topping up where practically possible.
* Topping up of children's play pools allowed, bur residents are strongly encouraged to only use small play pools. Limit the amount of water used and recycle the water for flushing toilets.

* Borehole/wellpoint water must be used efficiently to avoid wastage and evaporation. Borehole/wellpoint water users are strongly encouraged to follow the same watering times applicable to municipal drinking water use detailed above.

* All City borehole and wellpoint users are expected to comply with National Department of Water and Sanitation regulations pertaining to borehole/wellpoint usage.

* Vehicles, trailers, caravans and boats may be washed with municipal drinking water provided a bucket is used.

* Commercial car washes may use municipal drinking water, subject to industry best practice water conservation norms and the recycling of at least 50% of water used.

* Spray parks may operate subject to their strict management to minimise water use.

* The use of municipal drinking water for ornamental water fountains or water features is prohibited.

* Properties where alternative, non-drinking water resources are used (including rainwater harvesting, greywater, basement water, treated effluent water, spring water and surface water) must display signage to this effect which is clearly visible from a public thoroughfare.

* No washing or hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal drinking water.