Be water wise

While normal rain patterns have returned to the Garden Route, South African summers are long and hot, and it is everybody’s responsibility to conserve water as much as possible.

The main sources of water in the Knysna Municipal area are rivers, and are therefore always vulnerable. The town and surrounding areas have several storing facilities, such as the Akkerkloof Dam and reservoirs, as well as two desalination plants to assist in drier times, but we request all who live, work and play in Knysna to remember that water is a valuable resource.

LEVEL 3 WATER RESTRICTIONS IMPLEMENTED

Level 3 Water Restrictions have been implemented by the Knysna Municipality with immediate effect. This new level of restrictions has resulted by Greater Knysna residents not adhering to the call to reduce their water usage. In the past week alone Sedgefield’s target water usage of 1.9ML/day was exceeded with the area utilising 2.9Ml/day. Knysna’s target of 8Ml/day was ignored and residents used a whopping 9.9Ml/day.

Added to this extensive overuse, the low flow of Greater Knysna rivers that feed the Glebe and Akkerkloof Dam (which is currently 37 per cent full) and the Sedgefield reservoirs has necessitated this Level 3 water restriction.

Residents and business water usage will now be closely monitored and those using in excess of the recommended 20Kl/month will need to install water management devices to reduce this non-compliant water use.

It must be noted that if Greater Knysna does not reduce its water consumption Level 4 could be implemented, resulting in the closing of water valves to be opened through a roaming area 3 hour based timetable. In essence Greater Knysna will be facing water outages.

We appeal to all residents and businesses to reduce their consumption with immediate effect and thank those residents that already practice water saving techniques.

Level 3 Restrictions include:

  • Municipal potable water for human consumption only
  • Absolutely NO watering of gardens (not even with a bucket)
  • No washing of vehicles and/or boat
  • All residents and businesses to restrict their usage to 20 Kl/month
  • Residents utilising more than the 20 Kl/month will be identified and must install water restrictive devices immediately
  • Punitive tariff (75 per cent additional) will be added for usage above the 20 Kl/month
  • Water recycling systems to be implemented
  • Artificial water features must use recycled water only
  • All residents are requested to install water efficient devices
  • The Top 20 Water abusers in Greater Knysna identified and visited by the mayor

WATER EFFICIENT INSTALLATIONS

All residents are required to retrofit their taps, showerheads and other plumbing equipment with water efficient devices.

Check for water leaks regularly:

  1. Turn off all the taps in your house and check the water meter (usually situated at the end of your property, about a metre from the road). If the little wheel on the meter is still turning when all the taps are closed, there may be a water leak somewhere in the system.
  2. Turn off the stop tap at your house, usually situated on the outside wall near the kitchen or bathroom. If the wheel stopped turning, the leak is in the house somewhere. If the wheel continues to turn, the leak is probably between the house and the water metre – if this is the case, close the stop tap at the water meter to ensure that no further water is leaked.
  3. Water leaks on the house-side of the meter are the responsibility of the homeowner. Leaks in the street-side of the meter are for the care of the municipality. Please report any municipal water leaks to 044 302 6331.

You can conserve water by:

  1. Taking shorter showers, five minutes or less is best.
  2. Placing a bucket in the shower to catch excess water and use this to water plants.
  3. Turning off the tap when soaping hands or brushing teeth.
  4. Never pouring water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant.
  5. Replacing or adjusting the toilet handle if it frequently gets stuck in the flush position, allowing water to run constantly.
  6. Not flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  7. Using a broom, not a hose, to clean your yard and driveway.
  8. Planting indigenous shrubs from this region in your garden as they tend to use less water.