Drought crisis intervention: City to intensify pressure management
1 June 2017
Residents are advised that supply interruptions are now more likely due to intensified water pressure reduction measures. As such, residents should keep an emergency water supply on hand for drinking and basic hygiene. Furthermore, despite hoaxes to the contrary, municipal water remains safe to drink.
The City of Cape Town advises residents that, in line with Level 4 restrictions, water pressure is being lowered further to the point where supply interruptions in higher-lying areas of the City’s supply zones will be experienced for short periods during the day.
As communicated before, we will lower the water pressure as part of our efforts to stretch our water supplies. We are now well into the winter season with no sufficient rain in sight and the City continues with its various plans to manage the drought crisis.
Furthermore, multi-storey buildings that do not make use of pumps and overhead tanks as required by the City’s building regulations are likely to experience supply problems. Residents are encouraged to approach their body corporates or managing agents to ensure that these systems are in place and operational.
‘The City’s aim with pressure management is to adjust our system so that as many people as possible are supplied at as low a pressure as possible. As we have never had to lower pressure to this level, reaching this equilibrium will require an element of trial and error,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements Water, and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.
Residents who experience supply interruptions should therefore be sure to report this to our call centre on0860 103 089 so that the City can make the necessary adjustments. Furthermore, residents are advised to keep an emergency store of between 2 – 5 l of water for drinking and basic hygeine at all times.
Level 4 water restrictions include the following:
- No irrigation/watering with municipal drinking water is allowed
- Private swimming pools may not be topped up or filled with municipal drinking water, even if they have a cover
- No washing of vehicles and boats with municipal water is allowed (commercial car washes may apply for an exemption which will only be granted if wash water is recycled or waterless products are used)
- Water features may not use municipal drinking water
- No hosing down of paved surfaces with municipal drinking water is allowed
- Use of portable play pools is prohibited
Residents should also be targeting water consumption to under 100 litres per person per day. Key to reaching this level is ensuring that showers do not run for more than two minutes per person, toilets are flushed only when absolutely necessary and with grey water, and all internal plumbing and plumbing fixtures are checked for leaks. One leaking toilet wastes between 2 600 and 13 000 litres of water per month, depending on the flow rate of the leak.
Furthermore, residents are advised that although water in some parts of the city may have an earthy taste, water remains safe to drink. The earthy taste is caused by a compound called geosmin which is released during the decomposition of algae in the Theewaterskloof Dam. The City addresses this via treatment with activated carbon powder, however the human palate is incredibly sensitive to this substance and can detect even minute traces.
Issued by Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services, and Energy, City of Cape Town, 1 June 2017