Thursday, December 21, 2006

Be water-wise this festive season

By Nadia Samie
21 December 2006


Cape Town’s dam levels are currently 84% full, but with summer temperatures hitting the 30 degrees mark, water demand from the city’s approximately 3,2 million residents is also at its highest. With the influx of visiters over the festive season, an added strain will be felt on the already limited water resources.

Earlier this year the city promulgated two new by-laws which are aimed at promoting water management habits and practices. The Water By-law and the Wastewater and Industrial Effluent By-law incorporate most of the restrictive measures introduced during the previous dry spells in the metropole.

Water wastage, pollution and any other cases of non-compliance with the new water bylaws can be reported by calling the water services technical operations centre on 0860 10 30 54.

The two new by-laws provide in short for:

  • No watering of gardens between 10:00 and 16:00
  • Hosepipes must be fitted with automatic self-closing devices
  • Potable water may not be used to damp building sand and other building material to prevent it from being blown away
  • No automatic top up systems using a float valve fed from a potable water source are allowed to supply swimming pools and garden pools
  • No person may hose down a hard-surface or paved area using potable water, without prior written notice
  • No automatic cistern or tipping tank may be used for flushing a urinal
  • Major water users (using more than 3650 Kl per annum), excluding multiple dwellers’ units, must undertake an annual water audit
  • Commercial car wash industries must re-cycle a minimum of 50% of the water used in their operations
  • Water closet cisterns may not exceed 9.5 litres in capacity
  • The maximum flow rate from a tap installed in a wash hand basin may not exceed 6 litres per minute
  • No person supplied with water in terms of this by-law may sell such water without prior written permission or special agreement
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