Be Water Wise this Summer in the Bay
We’ve read the headlines and heard the news; we’ve experienced the heat and seen the effect the lack of rain has had on the green fields and indigenous forests in Nelson Mandela Bay.
It’s dry. It’s very dry. And during a scorching hot summer season it might come as second nature to use more water, to cool off and to splash around.
But can we risk it?
The current water levels of our dams shout, NO!
Together, as residents and visitors of the Bay, we can all do our part to save water.
Every drop counts.
Here are a few tips on how to be water wise this summer.
1. Drink up!
“A glass of water please, with ice and lemon”.
How often do we ask for water at restaurants but only drink half a glass? In restaurants the left-over water will most likely go down the drain. Drink up or ask the waiters if they have any plants that could use this water.
2. Be Cool and remember the cooler
Going to the beach or having a picnic with your cooler stacked with drinks and ice to keep everything cool? Don’t just throw the ice water out, throw it out responsibly: you can water a plant or quench the thirst of a dog. The same goes for ice buckets.
3. Don’t waste your grey water
Grey water is what comes from your washing machine, dishwasher or bathtub and while it may contain soap and a few bubbles it can still be put to good use. Grey water might look dirty (but it smells heavenly) it is a beneficial source of irrigation, a valuable fertilizer and more than perfect for washing vehicles.
According the www.greywater.org:
Greywater can also be used to irrigate vegetable plants as long as it doesn’t touch edible parts of the plants. In any greywater system, it is essential to use “plant friendly” products, those without salts, boron, or chlorine bleach. The build-up of salts and boron in the soil can damage plants. While you’re at it, watch out for your own health: “natural” body products often contain substances toxic to humans.
Visit the website to learn more.
4. The Toilet Rule
Your toilet can use up to 9 unnecessary liters of water with every single flush. Place a 1 liter water bottle in the toilet’s septic tank to trick the volume into thinking it’s full and save a liter or more per flush. In a South African household, between 37% and 73% of daily water usage gets flushed down the toilet.
5. The Other Toilet Rule
If you are living alone or with a loved one who shares your passion to save water, remember this rule: If it is yellow let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down.
6. More things in the bathroom
Turn off the tap while you are brushing your teeth. You can save more than 4 liters of water a minute by just doing this.
Take shorter showers and place a bucket in the shower to not waste the water before it gets hot and shower-ready; this water can be used later for dishes, in the garden or even to wash your clothes. You can also close the taps during the soap- and shampoo stage and just use water for rinsing.
7. Your Garden
Use grey water for your garden and do it early morning or late afternoon; you can also add compost and bark to plants to help the soil to keep its moisture.
8. Swim, Swam, Swum.
If you are in or near Nelson Mandela Bay you have access to the Bay’s three beautiful Blue Flag beaches, Hobie Beach, King’s Beach and Humewood Beach. Cool off and take a swim in the ocean instead of constantly filling your swimming pool with water.
9. Tap that!
Never turn your back on a tap that is leaking or dripping. Always keep your eyes on your own taps at home but also be on the lookout for any dripping taps at public restrooms, etc.
10. In the Kitchen
Scrape out pots and pans into the dustbin and clean it with a paper towel before putting it in the water; if you are rinsing anything under running water, plug the sink and make sure your dishwashing machine and washing machine are always fully loaded before using.
Water Restrictions: The Legal Side
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality: RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF WATER In terms of Section 4 of the Water Services Act 108 (No 108 of 1997)and Clause 31 of the Water & Sanitation Services By Law the following will be prohibited from immediate effect:
1. The use of water obtained from the Municipality’s water supply system for:
(a) watering gardens, lawns, grassed areas, flower beds, racecourses, sports fields, bowling greens, golf greens and fairways, croquet lawns, turf wickets, ploughing fields and the like;
(b) topping up or filling fountains, ornamental ponds and the like;
(c) filling swimming and paddling pools;
(d) washing paved areas, walls, roofs, buildings and similar structures.
2. The use or operation of:
(b) sprinklers, sprinkler and drip systems;
(c) automatic swimming pool fillers;
(d) automatic urinal flushing systems;
(e) the connection of a hosepipe or any form of irrigation system to a tap supplying water from the Municipality’s water supply system unless for the purposes permitted in terms of this notice.
Currently, all consumption must be reduced by at least 15% and if we fail to do this, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will be forced to impose stricter measures.
And just in case you didn’t know, the contravention of this prohibition constitutes a criminal offence.
If you notice any leaks, report it immediately to 041 506 2258 or call the toll free number, 0800 20 5050.
Be water wise and do your part; it is easy and small changes can make a big difference!
Written by Anje Rautenbach, travel blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly. Follow her journeys around South Africa on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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