Shower for 2 minutes, flush only if 'absolutely' necessary – City of Cape Town

2017-05-29 20:40
An empty Theewaterskloof Dam, which supplies Cape Town with more than half of its water, pictured earlier this month.(Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp)

An empty Theewaterskloof Dam, which supplies Cape Town with more than half of its water, pictured earlier this month.(Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp)

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Johannesburg - The drought crisis in Cape Town has reached its most critical level to date and the city is now urging residents to spend no more than two minutes in the shower and only flush the toilet “when absolutely necessary”.

In a statement released on Monday, the city said dam storage levels were at 19.7% which was 0,8% down from last week. But despite this, consumption levels were still too high.

“With the last 10% of a dam’s water mostly not being useable, dam levels are effectively at 9,7%. Disappointingly, consumption remains at 666 million litres, which is above the consumption target of 600 million litres per day,” the city said.

Although tougher restrictions were set to be implemented by the city council this week, a blanket ban on all irrigation, filling of pools and washing of cars with drinking water was recommended by the Mayoral Committee.

Also read: Critical Western Cape dam levels fall further

Residents were reminded to use water only for drinking, cooking and washing. They were asked to work towards a consumption target of less than 100 litres per person, per day, the city said.

“A five-minute shower can use between 40 litres and 70 litres, and flushing a toilet uses 6 – 21 litres, depending on the size of the cistern.

“One shower and five flushes of an average-sized toilet will push a person over their daily allowance, and this is not even taking into account other necessities such as drinking, cooking, and washing of clothes and dishes.

“As such, the city recommends limiting time under the shower to two minutes and only flushing the toilet when absolutely necessary,” it said.

Check for leaks

Residents were also urged to check their property for plumbing leaks, which also wasted water. A leaking toilet wasted between 2 600 and 13 000 litres per month, depending on the flow rate of the leak. While a leaking tap wasted between 400 and 2 600 litres per month, the city said.

Residents were also urged to check for underground leaks by taking a meter reading, switching off all water in their home, and observing whether the meter continued to register consumption.

The city said it had noted hoaxes about water quality in Cape Town.

It said while the last 10% of a dam’s volume was difficult to treat to acceptable standards, the city had not yet reached that level which meant that the water was still safe to drink.

“Water undergoes extensive filtration as well as chemical treatment before it is pressure-fed into the reticulation system.

“Water quality is controlled at the treatment plants by process controllers who perform tests on an hourly basis in the on-site labs in order to make the necessary adjustments,” the city said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  drought  |  water crisis  |  water

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