A number of people have asked how one reads the water meter. Confused by the number of dials, spinning wheels and then the bar of digital numbers. What does it all mean?
But first! Do you know where your water meter is? Do you know how to switch off your supply if a pipe bursts or as happened to my neighbour this week – the flush mechanism of your toilet sticks and gushes drinking water into the toilet bowl. The drought and stricter Level 3B water restrictions make it even more critical that we also understand how to read our water meters and how to use them to check for leaks. If you switch off all taps and the little black wheel is turning – then the chances are you have a leak.
See the diagramme of my old water meter annotated to explain what all the dials do!
Apply for Cape Town eservices so that you can enter your water readings yourself on a specific date then your bill will take into account all liters used not just the kilo liters. Subscribing to an sms reminder service will let you know when you are due to take and enter a reading. https://eservices.capetown.gov.za/irj/portal
Our Constitution identifies access to clean water as one of our human rights. Many municipalities translate this into a free allocation of 6 kilolitres per household per month.
1kl = 1000 litres and 1 m³ (cubic meter of water)
In acknowledgement of the severity of this drought nationally AND understanding that the Climate Change scenarios for South Africa predict more frequent severe droughts, the Dept. of Water Affairs is reviewing the allocation of water by local authorities. On one hand they are proposing that the free allocation should not exceed 6kl. eThekwini (Durban) for example gives a free allocation of 9kl. In addition there is talk about reducing the FREE allocation to more affluent homes to encourage a culture of efficient use of water by homes with large gardens and pools and by people how can better afford rain tanks and alternatives to municipal water. There is also (possibly) the need to buffer the reduced revenue from the sale of water to pay for maintenance and new water infrastructure when the higher fees associated with the restrictions are lifted. Hopefully this drought will have a lasting legacy of efficient water use. Many of us have learnt lessons in desperate times!!!
Xanthea Limberg, CT Mayoral committee member for water services was quoted on Cape Talk as saying that the higher water tariffs were designed to compensate for reduced consumption so that the City did not loose revenue to maintain the water infrastructure. However, because of a slow response to the Level 2 and then the Level 3 water restrictions, the City’s revenue from water sales had increased significantly by R2.54 million over the past 12 months. This extra funding was a welcome injection of money to speed up the City’s repair of old water infrastructure.
Kim Kruyshaar 02 2017