The City of Cape Town is currently implementing Level 2 Water restrictions. This is due in part to the low dam levels. It is everyone’s responsibility to save water.
Here are some useful tips on how you can save water:
Save water throughout your home
Ensure all taps are fully closed – a dripping tap at 1 drip per second wastes up to 30 litres a day – that is equivalent to 10 000 litres a year.
Replace tap washers regularly and fit tap aerators to restrict and spread the flow. This saves water yet feels like you are using the same amount of water.
Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary.
Save water in your garden
Water your garden before 09:00 or after 16:00 (or even later on hot summer days). Avoid watering during windy periods and only water your garden when necessary.
Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns. Professional greywater recycling systems are also available for purchase.
If you have an overflow pipe that drips into the garden, place a bucket beneath the drips and use the saved water to water pot plants.
Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
Use a mulching lawn mower that allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn.
Don’t mow lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer.
Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you wash your car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time. Or, to save even more water wash your vehicle using a bucket of water.
Use a trigger nozzle with automatic shut-off on your hose when you water your garden.
Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered.
Adjust your irrigation system for the season and switch it off during rainy weather – even if it is borehole or wellpoint water.
Watering the garden less frequently, but deeper (for longer) encourages a deeper root system, which results in stronger plants. This practice can make water-wise plants out of most established plants.
Save water in your kitchen
Ensure washing machines or dishwashers have a full load before running them.
Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap, and reuse the water for pot plants or in the garden.
Rinse water can be reused for the next cycle of washing up before being discarded.
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge so that you don’t run lukewarm water down the drain when waiting for it to cool.
Run tap water into a bottle when waiting for it to heat up.
Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, sunlight or microwave rather than placing them under running water.
Save water in your bathroom
Close the tap when brushing your teeth. This saves up to 20 litres per month. Use a mug of water to rinse your toothbrush.
Plug the sink when shaving rather than rinsing your razor under running water. This saves up to 45 litres per month.
A half-filled bath uses about 113 litres, a 5-minute shower uses about 56 litres. Shower rather than bath, if you have to bath make it a shallow one or share it.
Reuse bath water in your garden.
Install a new water-saving toilet or put a clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand in the toilet cistern. This could save you up to 7 300 litres each year.
A toilet leak can waste up to 30 litres an hour – check if your toilet is leaking by adding a few drops of food dye to the cistern. If the colour seeps into the bowl, you have a leak, which should be fixed as soon as possible.
Install a water-saving shower head, take shorter showers, don’t run the water at full force and turn off the shower when soaping or shaving.
Save water in industries, businesses and schools
Automatic flushing urinals are the ultimate water wasters. If they cannot be replaced immediately, turn off the water after hours and over weekends – schools doing this have saved up to R5 000 on their annual water bill.
Flush valves should flush for just two to four seconds and urinals for six to eight seconds.
Regular maintenance of toilet fittings will save unnecessarily flushed water.
Ensure your plumbing systems are regularly checked for leaks.
Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose for this purpose.
Potable water must not be used to dampen building sand or other building material to prevent it from being blown away.
Motorists whose vehicle licence discs will expire on 31 October 2015 and are renewable by 21 November 2015 will not be receiving renewal notices. The City of Cape Town asks motorists to act proactively to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made and to renew discs online.
The National Department of Transport’s (DOT) transfer of the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) to the Road Traffic Management Centre has also affected motorists whose licence discs expired at the end of September 2015 and are renewable by Wednesday 21 October 2015. This transfer has been the reason that motorists have not received notices to renew their annual motor vehicle licences.
Motorists are requested to check their current licence disc for the expiry date and if it is due to either:
Under the Motor Vehicle Licensing tab, click on ‘register’ (for new applicants) or ‘login’ (for those already registered for e-Services)
You will be prompted to complete an online registration form and will be required to upload the necessary documents
The application process takes three working days for new applicants and two working days for applicants who are already registered
Phone the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to find out the amount owing should you not know the licence amount due
Renew your licence at your nearest vehicle licensing office:
Take your identity document, complete a green Application for Licencing of Motor Vehicle form (ALV form), and renew your licence at the counter.
As a rule, motorists receive a 21-day grace period in which to renew their licence discs from the end of their renewal period.
‘The City apologises for any inconvenience and is doing everything in its power to ease the discomfort of motorists. We ask that the DOT and the Road Traffic Management Centre resolve the transfer of the eNaTIS as soon as possible and that this problem is sorted out before November, which is traditionally the busiest month of the year for motor vehicle disc renewals,’ said the City’s acting Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Belinda Walker
STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER: TRANSPORT FOR CAPE TOWN, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON
Tuesday, 11 August 2015, will mark the first day of the City of Cape Town’s long awaited application to the Western Cape High Court for reviewing and setting aside SANRAL’s proposed tolling of portions of the N1 and N2 freeways. Read more
The City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Department has launched a new and improved website, loaded with useful information that may assist residents, learners, students, educators and visitors.
The City is confident that the use of interactive diagrams, video clips, posters and brochures to present information in a more user-friendly way will significantly improve the experience of those visiting the Water and Sanitation Department’s new website, making it easier to access information and to interpret it.
‘For instance, by visiting http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/Water residents will be able to access a detailed explanation about water tariffs and how we bill them for water usage, and how to apply for a water management device, or to be connected to the City’s water system. Selling your house? We list a few things to consider and we provide a brochure for new homeowners as well,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.
The website is loaded with useful information for those interested in water and the way in which the City manages this scarce resource, such as:
how to report faults
how to log account enquiries
how to prevent sewer blockages
how to apply for a plumber’s license with the City
tips on saving water
latest dam levels and historic levels, dating back to 2011
educational material on the Cape Town water and sanitation system
details of important projects that the department is working on
ongoing commitments to enhancing services to residents in informal settlements