Ricochet News

George Municipality lifts emergency tariffs and some water restrictions

Nov 15, 2017
George Municipality lifts emergency tariffs and some water restrictions

While the George Municipality will be lifting emergency tariffs and some water restrictions on Saturday, 18 November 2017, a stern warning has been issued for the public to keep saving water to maintain water security through the summer holiday season and beyond.

George Municipal Manager, Trevor Botha, said the Garden Route Dam level had remained over 45% for two months since 18 September which, according to the George Drought Management Policy, meant Section 2B restrictions could be reinstated.

George is currently implementing Section 2C restrictions which carries with it financial penalties for exceeding the 15kilolitre monthly household limit, and does not allow watering of gardens or any exemptions for water-dependent businesses.

The official dam reading, taken by the George Municipality on Wednesday morning, is 66.5%.

“While George has received relatively good rain over the past few weeks and our main water source, the Garden Route Dam, has steadily risen to where some restrictions can be lifted, we want to stress this is not a ticket to start using water without care.

"We expect an influx of tens of thousands of additional, potential water users into our municipal area over the summer holiday period and will continue to appeal to all who live, work and holiday here to respect that our region and province is experiencing a water crisis and that our resources need protection.

“Many households and businesses have made great efforts to reduce their municipal water usage since restrictions were implemented, for which we have great appreciation and admiration. The municipality hopes they will keep up the good work and inspire others to follow suit so water saving becomes a lifestyle, not just a measure during drought and crisis.

"While there will be no emergency tariffs linked to water usage when Section 2C is not applicable, water usage targets such as 15kilolitres per month and an overall reduction of 15% for businesses are great goals to have, irrespective of the water situation, and will contribute immensely towards George’s long-term water security,” said Botha.

From Saturday, the following restrictions (Section 2B) will apply:

  • Handheld watering of gardens using a hose and municipal water: even-numbered households Mondays and Thursdays, 7pm-9pm only and uneven-numbered households Tuesdays and Fridays, 7pm-9pm only.
  • Mechanical irrigation of gardens (sprayers) using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Watering sports fields using municipal water is prohibited, except for golf course greens, bowling greens and cricket pitches, daily 7pm-9pm.
  • Filling up of swimming pools using municipal water is prohibited.
  • Washing cars with a hose using municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed), except for commercial car washes.
  • Cleaning of outside surfaces using a hosepipe with municipal water is prohibited (buckets allowed).
  • “OWN WATER” signage must be displayed where applicable and must be proven on request by municipal officials.
  • Applications for exemption of some restrictions may be considered on merit.

Please report water leaks, burst pipes and other water-related concerns to our Civil Engineering Department, at  044 801 9262 or after hours at 044 801 6300, as soon as you notice them.

Contraventions of water restrictions can be reported on 0800 424 277. Repeat offenders may pay up to R4 000 per offence, depending on the offence, or may be jailed for up to six months if found guilty.