Nelson Mandela Bay water crisis

Day Zero is looming at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
Photo: Pixabay.

Cape Town drinking water: Tap water is safe despite chlorine shortage, says City

The City said it has enough chlorine reserves. However, water pressure may be lowered to ensure drinking water supply is sustainable if the national chlorine shortage lasts for an extended period.

Nelson Mandela Bay water crisis

Day Zero is looming at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
Photo: Pixabay.

The City of Cape Town said it is taking steps to mitigate the impact of the national chlorine shortage. A facility in Kempton Park, Gauteng suffered a setback last week that affected the supply of liquid gas chlorine, which is used by water boards and large municipalities to treat water to drinking standards.

CHLORINE SHORTAGE COULD IMPACT DRINKING WATER

The City wanted to notify residents about the national chlorine shortage but insisted that it currently has enough supply at all water treatment plants. It is also expecting to receive more stock next week.

As things stand, the tap water in Cape Town is safe to drink, however, the City is planning for an extended period of supply constraints.

“South Africa’s main manufacturer of chlorine gas for water purification purposes, based in Gauteng, experienced severe supply disruptions in the past week.

“ The factory is now operating again, but it will take time to build up stock reserves as there is pent up demand from water boards and municipalities,” said the City of Cape Town.

As a backup, the City is procuring chlorine gas substitutes from local suppliers and is looking at other alternatives, including international procurement to mitigate the risk of a lengthy national shortage.

“The City aims to ensure we do not reach a point where the national shortage of chlorine impacts on the quality of drinking/tap water.”

NO WATER SHORTAGE BUT PRESSURE MAY BE LOWERED

The City made it clear that there are no water supply issues, however, it wants to ensure that treated drinking water can be supplied sustainably throughout the chlorine fallow period.

Ideally, Cape Town’s water usage should be reduced to approximately 800MI per day, according to current estimates, said the City. Over the past few weekends, residents have used about 1000 MI per day on multiple occasions – this is most likely due to the hot weather.

The City said it is considering reducing the water pressure where possible to ensure usage does not exceed 800MI per day, if required, and encouraged residents to be water-wise on a daily basis.

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