Nasty surprise awaits greedy water-users

Flow limiters being placed on supplies of those using more than 30 kilolitres a month

Water flows through a tap left open. File picture
Water flows through a tap left open. File picture

Flow limiters are being installed in Nelson Mandela Bay households using more than 30 kilolitres of water a month to significantly reduce water pressure in the taps.

It is one of the immediate steps the municipality is taking to deal with its dwindling water resources.

The city’s dams have reached a combined low of 22%.

City manager Johann Mettler said they had already identified the biggest culprits and started installing the flow limiters.

This would be rolled out to others and the municipality was notifying all the affected account-holders.

“This is done on a continuous basis. In some instances, we have already installed flow limiters for excessive use of about 30 kilolitres a month,” he said.

“The data is extracted from the billing system, customers get a notice of high use, [we] give them the opportunity to reduce or repair any leaks and failing this, a flow limiter is installed and activated,” he said.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, councillors approved that R50.8-million be spent for water and sanitation projects aimed at increasing supply and curbing water losses.

Mettler said the metro had a number of projects in the pipeline to urgently deal with the water crisis, with contractors already on board to get the ball rolling.

NMB City Manager Johann Mettler
NMB City Manager Johann Mettler
Image: Herald Photographer

“There are projects where we can piggyback on tenders from other municipalities and we’re doing that.

“We are piggy-backing on the Cape Town and Stellenbosch municipalities’ current approved tenders.
“So that would strictly be the process undertaken because we don’t have time for new tenders.

“Supply chain regulation does make provision for making use of a valid tender from another municipality,” he said.

The municipality has to spend the money, which forms part of the R178-million bonanza from the national Treasury – grants that other municipalities failed to spend on time.

Among the ways the municipality plans to deal with the crisis is increasing water supply from the Nooitgedacht plant from 140ML to 160ML a day.

Mettler said more boreholes would be drilled across the metro to augment potable water supply.

They were also digging boreholes at the Churchill Dam to increase water supply.

The municipality is also continuing with its water conservation campaign to appeal to households and businesses to drastically cut their water use.

Infrastructure, engineering, electricity and energy portfolio head Masixole Zinto said the 20ML expansion of the Nooitgedacht treatment plant would take about two months.

“The municipality has also recruited 13 additional plumbers and with this additional resource [efforts] to reduce the water leaks are well under way,” he said.