City steps up water conservation and demand management measures

 The City of Cape Town is continually working to manage water consumption in Cape Town, and these efforts are being intensified due to the current drought. Approvals have now been given for the supply of up to 10 million litres of treated effluent to various businesses from collection points in Cape Town. Already, 75 million litres per day is being supplied through permanent pipeline connections. Read more below:

The City would like to thank those who have taken the time to incorporate the use of treated effluent water in their operations, as this is going a long way towards increasing water security in our city.

Supply of treated effluent and installation of water efficient parts are key elements of the City’s long-standing and internationally recognised Water Conservation and Demand Management Programme.

Treated effluent, or recycled water, is wastewater that has been treated at a wastewater treatment plant and then piped via a separate network of pipes to various consumers. In Cape Town, this water is not used as drinking water but for irrigation and industrial purposes, and for flushing of toilets.

The City is also rolling out supply of treated effluent water for flushing toilets in areas where permanent connections exist. Special mention must be made of efforts under way in Century City, where treated effluent water has been plumbed into various buildings for toilet flushing, including the Canal Walk shopping mall, the conference centre, and various offices. Incorporation of treated effluent water for toilet flushing is also being done at the City’s wastewater treatment facilities.


In addition, retrofitting of Council buildings and Council houses with water saving fittings continues. The typical fittings in retrofits are aerators, water saving taps, water saving showerheads, dual-flush toilet cisterns, and water management devices.

The City has also partnered with the Department of Public Works to reduce consumption at its facilities. Through the installation of water saving fittings, the reduction in water pressure and a programme of leak detection and repair, a combined saving of 9,2 million litres per day has been achieved at its 20 biggest facilities which mostly include defence force bases, police stations and prisons.

‘Management of other large facilities in Cape Town should take note of the significant savings that can be achieved through using treated effluent water and the installation of water-saving systems. Taking charge of water consumption in this way, along with education and awareness programmes, is one of the most important ways larger customers can help prevent a Day Zero scenario. Not only will this assist in increasing water security, but it will also save them money. Treated effluent is supplied at a lower cost than municipal drinking water.

‘The City is continually looking to expand the treated effluent reticulation areas of the city and increase usage of treated effluent water. As such I am calling on all businesses to explore where treated effluent can replace drinking water in their processes,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, Councillor Xanthea Limberg.

Residents who want to apply for a permit to collect treated effluent should please contact the City on

Please see for more information.

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements, Water and Waste Services; and Energy, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1299 or Cell: 073 271 2054, Email: (please always copy

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