Raw sewerage touches raw nerve

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 13 September 2010

The ongoing discharge of raw sewerage into the Nahoon River has local businesses and residents at their wits end.

Nahoon River

So far this year the popular Merrifield Mile, which forms part of the Buffalo City Tri-Challenge, was moved from the Nahoon River to Wriggleswade Dam. One of the reasons given for the swim’s relocation was the fears surrounding the quality of water in the Nahoon River, where the event had taken place for seven years.

“The situation with raw sewerage coming down the Nahoon River is quite sick and revolting. Unfortunately it is not just the ratepayers that suffer, but everybody that uses the river and beach….”, said Llewellyn Thatcher –  Le Petit Restaurant – Nahoon.

Llewellyn is calling for a rates boycott in the hope that the Buffalo City Municipality will take some form of action.

Also calling for a rates boycott is Kevin Harris of the Nahoon Beach Blue Flag Beach Lobby, “The time has come for action, Nahoon and other affected ward Rate payers need to boycott rates until the funds are allocated to the intended projects not talk and corruption”, he said.

A “Save Nahoon” petition has now been established in an attempt to return the state of the Nahoon River to its former pristine condition.

To add you support to this initiative please visit:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=152599078088707&ref=mf or:

Water quality forces event change

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 13 February 2010

The popular Merrifield Mile, which forms part of the Buffalo City Tri- Challenge, has been moved from the Nahoon River to Wriggleswade Dam because of fears over water quality.

Nahoon River

Kevin Harris, of the Nahoon Beach Blue Flag Lobby, said the situation required urgent attention from authorities. “I think the river is taking strain and is not looking healthy. There’s often a fat-like coating on the sand and a terrible smell.”

André Wood, chairperson of the Border Canoe Club, said the water quality in the Nahoon River was an issue that needed to be addressed. “There are days when you just don’t want to get into the water. “It’s a problem that needs to be sorted out because it affects our ability to host national events. It’s not only important to us to have a clean river, but the city itself will benefit.”

Water samples will be taken from various points along the Gonubie, Quinera, Nahoon and Buffalo rivers over the next six-week period. Samples will also be taken from Ihlanza River and the Blind River. Two water samples from two different locations will be taken from Gonubie, one from Quinera, three from the Nahoon River and one from the Buffalo River. One sample each will be taken from the Ihlanza and Blind Rivers respectively.

Test results, along with information on the tides and weather, will be published in the Saturday Dispatch.

Source: Dispatch online

Buffalo City water tariff stampede on hold

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 10 February 2010

Notification 2-days ago by Buffalo City Municipality of punitive water tariffs was apparently released by accident (read ‘Water Tariff to increase 5-fold’ – 08 Feb 2010)

According to city spokesperson, Keith Ngesi, “The memo was accidentally moved to the public domain without council approval. This was an accident, a mistake that our mayor is apologising for. Consumers need to get at least a month’s notice before new tariffs are applied.”

Nceba Ncunyana, who signed the memo that indicated 01 February as the start date for the punitive tariff, said on radio that the issue was very sensitive but declined to explain the premature announcement.

Read Statement by Buffalo City Exec Mayor

Water Tariff to increase 5-fold

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
08 February 2010

Buffalo City residents stand to pay thousands of Rands a month more in punitive water tariffs as the city’s dam supplies dry up, according to the BCM.

The new tariffs came into effect at the beginning of the month. According to estimates given by the municipality on its website, a family of four could end up paying nearly R4000 a month if using 65 kilolitres of water.

The city’s major water supply dam, the Bridle Drift Dam, is less than 40 percent full, and the BCM said it was introducing heavy new, punitive tariffs in a bid to cut down on domestic consumption.

A memorandum from the Director of Engineering Services to the acting Chief Financial Officer, dated January 21 and of which the Dispatch has a copy, highlights the new tariffs that came into effect on February 1.

The memo, however, also says that in addition to the normal tariffs, those who used more than 21kl of water a month would be charged punitive tariffs of five times the normal tariff.

Rand per kilolitre Kilolitres used Punitive Tariff
R5.16 0 to 6
R5.26 7 to 10
R7.30 11 to 20
R9.47 21 to 30 R47.37
R11.89 Over 31 R59.45

With the punitive tariff included, a household would pay R47.37/kl if using between 21 and 30kl of water, and R59.45/kl for more than 31kl.

According to the Buffalo City Municipality’s website a family of four living in a three-bedroom house with “several bathrooms”, a pool and a garden would probably use around 60000 to 65000 litres a month. In terms of the punitive charges, this would result in a bill of between R3657 and R3865.

A family of four living in a four-roomed house with one bathroom is likely to use between 30kl and 35kl litres a month. If the punitive tariffs are applied, their bill could top R2080.

Speaking to the Dispatch yesterday, Director of Engineering Services Nceba Ncunyana confirmed the tariffs charged as of February 1. He also said it was a precautionary measure to limit water usage to ensure the city did not run out of water.

Ncunyana said the average household in BCM used between six and 10 kilolitres of water per month, equating to a bill of between R30.96 and R51.60. “It (punitive tariffs) is not to punish people, but to limit the over-usage of water because the Bridle Drift Dam … which supplies water to Buffalo City has dropped to below 40 percent due to the scarcity of rain,” he said.

Residents, who claimed not to have been informed of the punitive tariffs, said BCM should have focused on educating the public on the water shortage and saving instead of introducing the tariffs. Continue reading