Higher water costs only days off

Critical dam level imminent – despite strides in reducing losses

The metro’s dam levels are dropping fast and residents could hit the tough Part C water tariff regime by the middle of the month, mayoral committee member for infrastructure and engineering Annette Lovemore said yesterday.

Lovemore said the combined dam level – at 40.49% yesterday – was dropping by about 0.3% a week.

“We expect it to have dropped below 40% within about 10 days’ time,” she said.

“We will be publishing a notice in all the papers indicating our move to Part C of the tariffs for residential and institutional users and Part B for commercial and industrial users.”

According to the tariffs schedule for the 2016-17 financial year on the metro’s website, under Part B residents have been paying R10.67 for the first 0.4 kilolitres a day (KL/d), R13.37 for the next 0.4KL/d, R29.73 for the next 0.8KL/d, R36.04 for the next 0.5KL/d and R90.09/KL for additional consumption.

If the metro goes to Part C, residents will pay R13.36 for 0.5KL/d; R27.03 for the next 0.3KL/d, R54.06 for the next 0.8KL/d and R180.19/KL for additional consumption.

Meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip confirmed yesterday that the metro had already cut losses substantially.

“The municipality has saved approximately 15 million litres of water every day for the last eight months as a result of decisive action against water losses,” he said.

“That’s the same as six full Olympic swimming pools each day.”

Trollip said the metro, during the last financial year, under the previous government, had lost about 37% of its water to leaks, pipe bursts and spills.

“Over the last eight months, our new DA-led coalition government has managed to reduce this figure to below 31.3%,” he said.

“After a focused effort to fill a number of plumber vacancies, fully capacitate the 0800-20-5050 call centre and reduce the turnaround time to fix leaks, we are now starting to win the battle against water losses.

“And the results are beginning to show.”

Trollip said there was clearly still a long way to go, however.

“Our long-term objective is to reduce losses of non-revenue water [produced water that never reaches customers] to a single-digit figure.

“The metro also aims to further reduce repair turnaround times.”

He was confident the metro’s water team under Lovemore could achieve these goals.

“In the meantime, please immediately report all leaks to 0800-20-5050,” Trollip said.

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