City puts squeeze on water wasters

Social Development MEC, Albert Fritz.

Residents in Parow and Goodwood are finding the Level 3 water restrictions enforced by the City “very challenging”.

This is according to Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg, who said residents had a collective responsibility to save water.

On Thursday January 12, the City carried out a blitz in the Tygerberg and Goodwood areas, where they issued a R2 000 fine after catching someone hosing down concrete surfaces with potable water.

City spokeswoman Priya Reddy said officials had spoken to several residents on the importance of saving water, paying specific attention to houses with lush vegetation, and followed up on the reports of contraventions.

The City was identifying properties with high water use for education drives and future inspections, she said.

Ms Janse van Rensburg’s ward covers Goodwood Extension 1, Goodwood Estate, Townsend Estate, Glenwood, N1 City, Tygerdal, Glenwood, Montague and Townsend Estate. She said the water restrictions had forced her constituents to be resourceful in maintaining their gardens while still complying with the restrictions.

“Water is carried from baths to water shrubs, often with much difficulty.

“I believe individual residents heed the restrictions as laid down by the City, as they understand the reason for the implementation of the restrictions.

“To me, it is important that the Ward 27 community remain fully informed about the water restrictions. Information is shared through pamphlets, as well as during community meetings,” she said.

She urged residents to report burst pipes; water leaks; faulty water meters; blocked and overflowing sewers; pollution in stormwater drains and rivers; the illegal use of water, such as the dampening of building sand; the hosing down of paved areas; watering outside stipulated hours; tampering with water connections; missing or stolen manhole covers; and damaged or vandalised communal taps or toilets in informal settlements.

Sebastian Ricketts , the co-owner of a 24-hour laundry in Parow, said they had hiked their rates by 15 percent to cover increasingly high water costs.

“We have experienced a slight drop in revenue as customers wait longer to wash their clothes. Our business requires us to use water so there is no getting away from it.

“Customers using our self-service option are also rather putting their clothes in one machine as opposed to doing two loads of washing in a bid to save water,” he said.

In a letter to the Northern News, Vasco resident Deon Beelders questioned the methods the City was using to curb the overuse of water because despite the dire conditions there had been widespread abuse and illegal water consumption by many.

Ms Reddy said the City was stepping up its enforcement efforts. “Given that the City supplies water to close to one million customers and that most of the wastage occurs behind closed doors, we need residents to help us and to report and supply evidence of alleged transgressions,” she said.

Pensioner Willem du Toit, 75, of Goodwood, who is the sole breadwinner in his household, said he tried to use as little water as possible to save money. “My water bill has increased, and I use my bath water to water the garden. I also don’t fill my bath to the brim,” he said.

(BLOB) SMS 31373 or email waterTOC@capetwon.gov.za to report water wastage.