How to survive the weekend water cuts

The following areas are anticipated to experience low water pressure, which may become a “trickle flow” at times: Browns Farm/Philippi, Eagle Park, Grassy Park, parts of Khayelitsha Site C, Lavender Hill, Lotus River, Manenberg, Mitchells Plain, Muizenberg, Ottery, Parkwood, Retreat, Seawinds, Steenberg, Strandfontein, Surrey Estate, Vrygrond, Wetton and Zeekoevlei.

This weekend, starting today, Friday, residents affected by essential maintenance on the Cape Flats bulk water network will either have no water or low water pressure until 3am on Monday September 19.

The City is encouraging the public to store water and use it sparingly during the 75-hour water-supply disruption.

Tankers and standpipes are also being made available in Pelican Heights, Peacock Close and Schaapkraal where there will be no water supply for three days.

There will be low water pressure, which may become a “trickle flow” at times, in Browns Farm/Philippi, Eagle Park, Grassy Park, parts of Khayelitsha Site C, Lavender Hill, Lotus River, Manenberg, Mitchell’s Plain, Muizenberg, Ottery, Parkwood, Retreat, Seawinds, Steenberg, Strandfontein, Surrey Estate, Vrygrond, Wetton and Zeekoevlei.

Water supply is being rerouted from elsewhere in the network to these areas, says the City. All these areas will have some water, but at lower than usual pressure.

The disruptions are unlikely to affected Plumstead and Wynberg, according to a WhatsApp message from Emile Langenhoven, the councillor for those areas.

“If you are not currently affected, then you should not be affected this weekend,” he said.

“If you are affected, please ensure that you have spare water this weekend or make alternate arrangements. I will keep you updated of progress.”

The City says the low-pressure water will still be safe to drink and it has issued the following advice:

• Use water sparingly in this period, only for essential use.

• Use a bucket or large plastic bowl of water to wipe yourself down. Try to avoid using the shower or bath as the water pressure may not be enough in low pressure areas.

• Use greywater from washing to flush toilets.

• Use a bucket or bowl in the sink to wash dishes. Do not fill the whole sink with water.

• Spot-clean clothes where necessary.

• No hosing down of hard-surfaced or paved areas with municipal tap water is allowed.

• Alternative water coming directly from boreholes and well-points should not be used for drinking, cooking (and food preparation) or body washing, as it is not treated municipal tap water and it could be contaminated.

• Do not water gardens or top up swimming pools with tap water, as these are not essential use.

• In areas where there is no water, it is advisable to make sure your geyser is turned off for the duration of the pipeline maintenance period to prevent any damage.

• Ensure that all taps are closed to prevent water loss and/or damage when the supply is restored.

The City says the water will slowly fill the supply pipe network once the work is complete. This is to prevent pipe bursts.

For a short period, the water may be discoloured or look milky. This is because of trapped air in the pipes. If left to stand in a glass, the appearance will become clear, like normal.

You can open an outside tap to expel any trapped air in the plumbing on your property. This water can be stored in a container for later use, so it’s not wasted.

“Residents will start to experience the impact of lower water pressures in the identified areas from Friday morning as the water is drained out of the affected bulk water pipelines and water supply is being rerouted to their areas, with the exception of Schaapkraal, Peacock Close and Pelican Heights,” said mayoral committee member for water and sanitation Zahid Badroodien.

“We anticipate that the most impact will be on Saturday when the actual maintenance happens, and then it will start improving again late on Sunday when the water starts filling the distribution pipeline again.

“Our teams will be working around the clock to ensure the work is completed as soon as possible.

“The City sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused and reiterates that all consumers ultimately benefit from these improvements to the water supply infrastructure network.”

For information on how to use water wiseley visit: www.capetown.gov.za/savewater, and for updates on the maintenance operation, follow the City’s Twitter account @CityofCTAlerts, WhatsApp to 060 018 1505, email water@capetown.gov.za or call 0860 103 089.