Exploration borehole drilling starts

2018-01-16 06:00
Ward councillor Elton Jansen and Mayor Patricia de Lille at the drilling site last week.

Ward councillor Elton Jansen and Mayor Patricia de Lille at the drilling site last week.

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Drilling to abstract groundwater from the Cape Flats aquifer has started in Mitchell’s Plain.

On Thursday, Mayor Patricia de Lille visited the drilling site after the announcement that the groundwater survey had confirmed that aquifers around Cape Town could deliver at least 150 million litres of water per day.

“The Cape Flats aquifer will deliver 80 million litres per day, the Table Mountain Group aquifer will deliver 40 million litres per day, and the Atlantis aquifer will deliver 30 million litres per day. Prime locations have been identified to abstract more water from these three aquifers. Drill rigs are moving on site this week,” says De Lille.

The groundwater abstraction projects form part of the City of Cape Town’s programme to supply additional water from desalination, water recycling and groundwater abstraction.

“Abstracting groundwater in bigger volumes means that the City can deliver more water to our residents at a lower cost for the benefit of all of Cape Town,” says De Lille.

“A company contracted by the City started to drill for water at the Mitchell’s Plain waterworks this week. This site was chosen based on the hydrogeological information and the likelihood of it delivering a safe yield of water from the aquifer.”

This initiative is an exploration and monitoring borehole that will provide data about the conditions in the area.

All exploration boreholes are designed to potentially become production boreholes in the future.

The City will drill in Strandfontein, Philippi, Wesbank, Bishop Lavis and Kayelitsha to look for the best abstraction points to tap water from the Cape Flats aquifer.

“The City’s programme is based on an environmentally-sensitive approach that will ensure sustainable water abstraction, ensuring generations of Capetonians will benefit from this groundwater. This is the first time such extensive mapping has been done and will ensure responsible use of groundwater through, for instance, the water recharge of these aquifers,” says De Lille.

“It is important that all residents must continue to save water, despite the City’s work to secure new water sources. I cannot stress it enough: all residents must save water and use less than 87 litres per day.”

De Lille adds that using more than 500 million litres of water per day, Day Zero will be reached on 22 April 2018.

“We must avoid Day Zero, and saving water is the only way we can do this. The City of Cape Town is working around the clock to bring new water supplies online, but we need the buy-in from all residents.”


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