Steenberg resident Abraham Abrahams Screengrab: Cape Times

Cape Town - For 84-year-old Steenberg resident Abraham Abrahams the City of Cape Town’s recently introduced water restrictions are easily complied with.

For nearly four years before it became fashionable and a dire need for Capetonians to save water - to lessen the impact of the severe drought gripping the province - pensioner Abrahams, of Coniston Park, had developed various ways to limit his water usage.

Commenting on his self-built devices that link 10 various-sized blue plastic drums to piping that carries rainwater from his roof to his toilet, kitchen and garden, Abrahams said: “I constructed these devices in 2014 to make my life easier and so that I can save a few rands, because I’m a pensioner and I must look after the pennies - that’s it.

“Since 2014 I have not been paying (the City) for water.

"For years I have been getting nil balances on my water account, because I use rainwater and my washing water.”

Another reason for his nil balance water account is because his monthly water usage fell below the free amount which the City allocates to each household per month.


Abraham Abrahams's self-built devices link 10 various-sized blue plastic drums to piping that carries rainwater from his roof to his toilet, kitchen, and garden. Screengrab: Cape Times
Abraham Abrahams's self-built devices link 10 various-sized blue plastic drums to piping that carries rainwater from his roof to his toilet, kitchen, and garden. Screengrab: Cape Times

His water devices work through a metre-high drum placed on the left side of his house, which catches rainwater from the gutters and diverts it to progressively smaller drums linked by piping that carries the water to the right side of his garden.

A second set of five drums that also become progressively smaller are also linked to each other by piping that carries the rainwater to his kitchen and toilet on the left side of his house for use in his cistern and washing machine, he said.

“I don’t waste any water. Water from the washing machine I divert into the garden. Most of the time I have water, because I work sparingly with it.

“When my water gets less, I go get water from the (nearby) canal. I don’t have a problem with (obtaining) water.”

His nil balance water bills, he said, had been partly due to his once-a-week trips to a nearby canal to fill three 25-litre buckets with water for his pot plants and garden.

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Cape Times