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MEDIA RELEASE: Water Restrictions implemented to protect drinking water for George

Issued George Municipality, 25 January 2022, for immediate release

Water Restrictions are necessary to protect our water resources

The George Municipal Section 80 Civil Engineering Services Committee today, 25 January 2022 approved the implementation of Water Restrictions similar to those found in paragraph 2B of the George Municipal Drought Management Policy.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Cllr Browen Johnson noted that an emergency as contemplated in Section 2(4)(b) of the Water Services By-law to limit or restrict the use of water currently exists in George as the water treatment works cannot meet the current potable water demand and cannot ensure adequate reservoir storage volumes to meet the emergency storage volumes required.

Due to the flood disaster event that occurred on 22 November 2021, the National Head of the Disaster Management Centre declared a national disaster of this event on 19 January 2022. Severe damage to our infrastructure on 22 November and again 06 December 2021 has meant that our main storage reservoirs could never recover their storage capacity adequately to act as a backup for the high season demand. This coupled with the warm weather, general growth and the recent reopening of businesses and industries means that the average daily demand is hovering at 38-39 Megalitres (Ml) per day, with peak days reaching even 40Ml/day. The production capacity of the Old and New Water Treatment Works is a combined volume of 38Ml per day. 

Water restrictions will therefore be implemented in the George Water Distribution and Reticulation network, excluding Uniondale and Haarlem, with immediate effect until further notice.

The right of access to basic water supply and sanitation is a basic right for all communities and it is the responsibility of the George Municipality as the Water Services Institution to take reasonable measures to ensure these rights.

The immediate measures to be adhered to are as follows:

  1. The mechanical or automatic irrigation/watering devices or sprinkler systems for gardens is prohibited.
  2. Gardens may be watered with a handheld hose from 01 September to 30 May during the following period only, i.e.  between 19:00 to 21:00

Gardens may be watered with a handheld hose from 01 June to 31 August during the following period only, i.e.  between 17:00 to 19:00:

Mondays and Thursdays for even-numbered households ONLY

Tuesdays and Fridays for uneven numbered households ONLY.

  1. The irrigation or watering of all sports fields is prohibited.  Exemption from restrictions in the following instances only: golf course greens, bowling greens, and cricket pitches which may only be watered between 19:00 and 21:00.
  1. The washing of vehicles with a garden hose is prohibited, except by a commercial enterprise whose business it is to wash cars.
  1. The cleaning of ANY area by mechanical means or hosepipe using water is prohibited; The use of a bucket is however permitted.
  1. The filling of swimming pools is prohibited.
  2. Where own water from a borehole or reservoir is used, the appropriate notice shall be displayed on the premises, e.g. “OWN WATER”.

Contraventions of the Water Restrictions can be reported on 0800 424477 and will be followed up by George Municipal Law Enforcement.

Any person who contravenes these restrictions is guilty of an offence and is, upon conviction, liable to a fine as published in the annual tariffs list, or six months imprisonment.

In terms of Section 5 of the By-law, any person may apply in writing for the exemption from the provision of any notice published in terms of the By-law, and the Council may grant an exemption and impose conditions in respect of such an application.  The Policy grants permission to the Directorate Civil Engineering Services to approve applications for exemptions.

Application forms for an exemption can be obtained from the office of the Directorate: Civil Engineering Services, Old Town Hall, on the corner of Market and York Streets. Alternatively, applicants can contact Ms G van Niekerk on 044 – 801 9354 / to request that a copy of the application form be emailed to them. The Directorate Civil Engineering Services will consider all applications. A written exemption shall be provided where approved.

Report all water leaks to our Civil Engineering Department on 044 801 9262/66  to email an application form.