George households would have to cut municipal water usage by about half to ensure they do not exceed the 15-kilolitre per month limit, which will trigger higher costs per kilolitre on an upwards scale.
Emergency tariffs and tougher water restrictions came into effect last week (2 August) as the town’s main water supply, the Garden Route Dam, dropped to below45%. The new Section 2C restrictions limit household consumption to 15 kilolitres per month or 480 litres per day (120 litres per person in an average household of four).
George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the current average household consumption per month was 20 to 30 kilolitres per month, which meant ratepayers would incur costs of almost double per kilolitre (from R13,74 per kilolitre for 6-15 kilolitres to R27,69 per kilolitre in the 20-30kl category) once they reached this threshold, if their usage remained the same. “While national figures vary on how households use their municipal water, there is no doubt that watering gardens (up to 46%), flushing toilets (up to 37%), bathing and showering (up to 32%) and laundry (up to 17%) are the places where people can save the most,” said Mr Botha.
Start with your municipal bill and water meter.
Your household’s total kilolitres consumption is indicated at the bottom of your account. Keep track of your consumption by keeping an eye on your water meter and checking all your taps and pipes for water leaks. If the leaks are on your side of the water meter, please contact a plumber as soon as possible to fix it. Please report leaks on the street/supply side of the water meter to 044 801 9262 or after-hours to 044 801 6300.
Save one: Gardens
The new 2C restrictions mean you are not allowed to water your garden with a hose or sprinklers at all. If you had until now watered your garden with a hose regularly, the good news is you may reduce your bill significantly by not watering your garden. Consider planting drought resistant plants.
Save two: Toilets
The older your house, the more likely you will have a large cistern of nine litres or more, which means flushing your toilet can use up to 15 litres per flush, which can add up quite quickly in a household of four. Newer toilet cisterns hold about six litres. Not all toilets work well with water reduction devices (such as a brick or bottle inside the cistern), so check before you do so. Reduce toilet paper use and consider your flushing options.
Save three: baths and showers
Take a shower or bath shallow. Depending on the size of the bath, an 18-centimetre-deep bath will take up 150-200 litres (nearly half your daily household allocation). While newer shower heads may reduce usage, the flow rate of most shower heads are still 15-25 litres per minute or 75-125 litres for a five-minute shower. Consider replacing your shower head with a flow reducing one.
Save four: Laundry
Depending on the size and age of the laundry washing machine, it uses 90-150 litres per cycle. Consider handwashing for certain items.
Save five: Dishes
Depending on the size, age and type of machine, the dishwasher uses 40-75 litres per cycle. Consider handwashing, which uses 10-30 litres depending on your efficiency.
Save six: General use
Don’t let water run: close taps and put the plug in for everything you can. Catch the cold water in the hot water pipes in a container when you wait for it to turn hot – fill the kettle or cooking pot with it.
The implications of Section 2C restrictions include:
· Households shall be limited to 15 kilolitres per month (flow reducing devices will be installed where limits are exceeded).
· Other users, businesses and entertainment industries must reduce consumption by 15% of their average use over the previous six months. This includes commercial car washes and other businesses dependent on municipal water.
· Large industries must reduce consumption by 10% of their average use over the previous six months.
· Gardens may only be watered using water cans or buckets, any time of the day.
· The irrigation/watering of ALL sportsfields using municipal water is prohibited.
· Washing of vehicles with a garden hose is prohibited. Buckets are allowed.
· Cleaning of any outside surfaces area using a water hose with municipal water is prohibited.
· Filling up of swimming pools with municipal water is prohibited.
· Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used ‘OWN WATER’ signage must be displayed, and officials may ask for proof of such.
· Emergency tariffs will have the following implications for households:
|WATER USE PER MONTH||HOUSEHOLDS NORMAL RATES 2017/18||HOUSEHOLDS RATES IF SECTION 2C IS IN PLACE|
|6-12 kilolitres||R13,74 per kilolitre||R13,74 per kilolitre|
|12-20 kilolitres||R15,82 per kilolitre||R17,86 per kilolitre (applied from 15 kilolitre)|
|20-30 kilolitres||R18,96 per kilolitre||R27,69 per kilolitre|
|30-50 kilolitres||R22,71 per kilolitre||R48,44 per kilolitre|
|50 kilolitres or more||R25,96 per kilolitre||R96,88 per kilolitre|
· Emergency tariffs for other users (such as schools, old age homes etc) shall be 1.5 times more as per their specific published tariff as per the annual municipal tariffs list.
Please report water leaks, burst pipes and other water-related concerns to our Civil Engineering Department, at 044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.
Contraventions of water restrictions can be reported on 044 801 6350. Repeat offenders can expect to pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.
Last published 08 August 2017