Taps are about to run dry‚ Cape Town warned


Taps are about to run dry‚ Cape Town warned

Dave Chambers | 2017-06-01 16:31:12.0

Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The moment when Capetonians turn on their taps and nothing comes out is about to arrive.

Lower water pressure means higher-lying areas will lose their water supply for “short periods during the day”‚ mayoral committee member Xanthea Limberg said on Thursday.

“Furthermore‚ multi-storey buildings that do not make use of pumps and overhead tanks as required by the city’s building regulations are likely to experience supply problems.”

The reduction in pressure is part of level 4 water restrictions which took effect on Thursday.

“The city’s aim with pressure management is to adjust our system so that as many people as possible are supplied at as low a pressure as possible. As we have never had to lower pressure to this level‚ reaching this equilibrium will require an element of trial and error‚” said Limberg.

“Residents are advised to keep an emergency store of between two and five litres of water for drinking and basic hygiene at all times.”

She admitted that water in some parts of the city might have an earthy taste‚ but said it remained safe.

“The earthy taste is caused by a compound called geosmin which is released during the decomposition of algae in the Theewaterskloof Dam‚” said Limberg.

“The city addresses this via treatment with activated carbon powder‚ however the human palate is incredibly sensitive to this substance and can detect even minute traces.”

Level 4 restrictions ban the use of water outside‚ and Limberg said although commercial car washes could apply for an exemption‚ it would be granted only if the water they used was recycled or waterless products were used.

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