Cape Town to bolster water by-law enforcement

The City of Cape Town will strengthen the enforcement of its by-laws related to water, in accordance with the new fine structure approved by the Chief Magistrate.

Garden irrigation times are before 10:00 and after 16:00

The City has a number of water by-laws in place to define its standards, protect existing infrastructure and the environment, as well as to ensure the health and safety of its residents. This focus on enforcement forms part of the City’s ongoing efforts to strengthen water conservation programmes and improve water quality across Cape Town and to ensure that the security of our water supply is not compromised.

To date, 18 Peace Officers have been appointed to enforce the by-laws related to Water; Wastewater and Industrial Effluent; Treated Effluent; and Stormwater Management.

In addition, a partnership has been forged between the existing Water and Sanitation Inspectors and the City’s Law Enforcement Officers to further increase the enforcement capacity for enforcement of by-laws related to water.

During the month of March 2012 and as part of the City’s Water Month campaign, Water Pollution Control Inspectors, in collaboration with the City’s Law Enforcement Officers, issued 60 spot fines amounting to R60 000,00 to offenders who contravened the Stormwater Management By-law. Continue reading

Water Affairs serves notice on wetland developer

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 May 2011

The Water Affairs department has given the developer of the Beach Club in Hout Bay 48 hours to explain why it should not issue a directive to stop all further in-filling of a wetland area, remove all the fill already dumped and levelled, and rehabilitate the site to its natural state.

The developer was given notice to stop all further in-filling in the wetland area in the Disa River estuary.

A notice to this effect was served yesterday on the development company, Really Useful Investments (Pty) Ltd, by “Blue Scorpion” Thando Stimela, a compliance, monitoring and enforcement official at the department’s regional head office in Bellville.

The notice, issued under the Water Act, is similar in intent to a notice the City of Cape Town served on the developer last month.

That notice, which alleged contraventions of the city’s stormwater management by-law, also ordered the developer to stop all further in-filling in the disputed wetland area in the Disa River estuary, and required it to remove all fill already placed within the 1:100-year flood plain.

Conservationists have reported that the city’s order is being ignored, and that substantial amounts of new fill have been trucked into the site since last week, with a front-end loader being used to level it. Continue reading

Water polluters fined

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 15 December 2010

The City of Cape Town recently issued 15 Water Pollution Control Inspectors in the Water and Sanitation Department with Peace Officer status, which gives them the authority to issue spot fines to water polluters.

City takes steps to protect its rivers from industrial and household waste

The team’s main responsibility is the protection of the City’s water reticulation systems (sewers and stormwater drainage) and receiving bodies (such as rivers and streams) from pollution that stems from industry and household waste. The team will work to ensure that the environment is protected and not negatively impacted as a result of by-law infringement.

The officers are working in the field, actively monitoring and enforcing compliance with the three relevant City by-laws, namely the Wastewater and Industrial Effluent By-law, the Stormwater By-law and the Treated Effluent By-law.

The City has completely revised the previous system of control, which was limited to contravention notices. By enhancing the powers of the existing officers, the City is introducing a zero-tolerance approach. The officers have power of access into all premises suspected to have discharged dangerous substances into the sewer or stormwater system. Continue reading

Quinera River opens its mouth to the sea

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 03 November 2010

For the first time in years the Quinera River at Bonza Bay has flowed into the sea, and although environmentalists are concerned about claims of people helping nature along, locals are happy the mouth has opened.

Quinera River flows to the sea. Photo: Alan Eason

While some residents say the recent heavy rains caused the river to flow into the sea, others claim a trench was dug.

“I think it is awesome that the river opened up because all the bottles and dirt from the river have been washed away,” said resident Antoinette Faye, who runs a kiosk at Bonza Bay. The river started opening up last week on Thursday, she added.

She could not confirm if this was caused by nature entirely, but said the heavy rains resulted in an overflow that covered the boardwalk.

“It went up by about half a metre on the boardwalk in the deepest section for about two to three days. People were dodging eels because they thought they were sea snakes,” said Faye.

“I think it’s a good thing. It needed to open up because of all the sewage and dirt , which needed to be washed out,” said Beacon Bay resident Judy Sanan.

Dan Nel, who fishes at Bonza Bay frequently, said the last time the river opened up was about two years ago. Continue reading

South African Blue Flag Beaches 2011

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 30 October 2010

South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to implement the Blue Flag programme and it was launched here in November 2001 as part of the South African Government’s CoastCare initiative. Since 2001, the Blue Flag programme has become a truly global initiative with over 42 countries participating and a further seven countries undertaking the feasibility stage.

Camps Bay beach

27 South African beaches (listed at end of article) have achieved world-class standards during the past season and have been adjudicated by both a South African and an International Blue Flag Jury to meet the standards of excellence Blue Flag beaches must achieve.

“The success of the Blue Flag programme in South Africa over the past 10 years can be attributed to the commitment of participating municipalities to provide beach-goers and holiday-makers with world class beaches offering safe, clean and well-managed facilities,” said Alison Kelly, WESSA’s Blue Flag Program Manager.

“The municipalities managing Blue Flag beaches are showing that high levels of excellence and delivery of services to benefit both local and international visitors are possible. Blue Flag as an organised and internationally managed accreditation programme provides a viable system for service excellence on our coastline and those municipalities receiving accreditation today should be acknowledged for what they have achieved” Kelly said. Continue reading