The City’s Water Saving campaign encourages residents to consciously save water every day. During summer the demand for water soars along with the high temperatures, and everyone needs to be aware of what a precious resource water is, and how to use it sparingly.
On 30 November, Executive Mayor Alderman Patricia de Lille launched the City’s Water Saving campaign, “Keep Saving Water” at Prince George Primary school in Lavender Hill. During the morning, to announce the campaign with a bang and remind the public that saving water is a seven-day-a-week responsibility, the South African Navy fired a seven-cannon salute, much to the children’s delight.
At the launch of the campaign the Mayor said, “We must look beyond the water we can see coming from our taps and think of the whole of society. If we waste water, someone will go without. And if we waste too much water, Cape Town will go without in the future. But we can take measures to ensure the future of our water supply. We can take measures to live sustainably. I appeal to everyone in Cape Town to monitor their water usage; to save water; and to prevent waste. Businesses, industries and the corporate world must also play their part. We ask all sectors of the economy to join us in this pledge and save water.”
In people’s homes, the three highest water-use areas are the garden, toilet flushing and bathing. It makes sense to save water at every opportunity and to make a concerted effort to sustain these savings. Try these water saving tips for the home to make a major impact:
- Don’t brush teeth or wash hands, dishes and plates under a running tap. Close the tap, use a plug and catch the waste water for re-use. (Closing the tap when cleaning teeth saves up to 20 litres per month!)
- Try to wash dishes only once or twice a day
- Rinse glasses, cutlery and vegetables in a basin of water, rather than under a running tap
- Regularly inspect taps for drips and repair defective taps. A dripping tap (1 drip per second) could waste 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 gives the impression you are using the same amount.
- Regularly inspect toilet-flushing mechanisms for water tightness, internal overflowing and repair defects promptly. 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
- Don’t flush a toilet unnecessarily. Installing a water-saving device in the toilet cistern could save you up to 7 300 litres each year
- Re-use shower, bath and dish water on your garden as often as possible
- Take a three minute shower using a water-wise shower nozzle and turn off the taps when soaping. You can also save the water normally wasted waiting for the hot water to come through by catching this in a bucket to be recycled (in toilet, garden etc.) afterwards.
- Don’t run a deep bath. Share bath water and then re-use it to flush the toilet or water the garden. (A bath uses an average of 160 litres, whereas a three minute shower uses 60 litres!)
- Only use your washing machine and dishwasher on full load
- Regularly inspect for geyser overflows and repair defects promptly
- Ensure your plumbing system is regularly checked for leaks and engage a plumber when necessary
Water saving tips for the garden:
- Water your garden before 10:00 or after 16:00, and only when necessary
- Re-use your bath and sink water to water plants and lawns – professional grey-water recycling systems are also available for purchase
- Mulching flowerbeds keeps down the weeds and holds moisture in the soil for longer.
- Where possible use a mulching lawn mower. This allows clippings to be finely cut and blown back into the lawn
- Don’t cut lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth and lawns are more likely to burn in summer
- Use an automatic shut-off nozzle on the hose when you wash the car, and use short bursts of water – this can save up to 300 litres each time
- Use a trigger nozzle on the hose when you water the garden
- Check and maintain your irrigation system regularly, to ensure no water is running to waste, or that paved areas are being watered
- 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
Water saving tips for the industrial and commercial sectors, 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
- Use a broom to sweep forecourts and other paved areas. Do not use a hose pipe for this purpose.
- Flush valves should flush for just 2 to 4 seconds and urinals for ± 6 to 8 seconds
Visit the City’s Water and Sanitation website for information regarding your water account, fixing leaks and tips to save water.
For all water and sewage enquiries call 0860 10 30 89.
Next: Sunday Open Thread