Check for water leaks

Leaking taps can add to raised water bills. 

Peter Flower, City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation Director

The City of Cape Town issues hundreds of thousands accounts a month, and although inaccurate billing is always regrettable, only a small percentage of accounts contain billing errors.

The City has noticed reports of customers who have been receiving significantly higher accounts than what they may be used to. As a matter of policy, the City investigates any account query submitted on its merits.

However, the reason for many significantly higher bills is likely due to underground leaks.

These leaks are the responsibility of private property owners to fix. However, customers may apply to the City for a rebate if there are mitigating circumstances.

The City has also enhanced its programme of fixing leaks for low-income residents.

 In light of the tariff increases, it is reasonable to assume that under the low tariffs of say, a year ago, if one had a substantial underground leak, the cost for that water loss would be substantially lower than what one would pay for the same water loss under the Level 6 tariffs of this year.

The City advises consumers to check for leaks by ensuring all outlets are shut off and to then read the meter.

After waiting for period of 15 to 30 minutes another reading should be taken. If there is a change in the meter reading, it is very likely that there is a leak on the property.

Some leaks are easy to detect, while others could be hidden underground and difficult to detect, and would require an expert leak detection professional or plumber.

Customers should check for the possibility of underground leaks before calling the City’s call centre about their bills.

 There is a smaller number of high bills which could be the result of a water meter leak.

The City will investigate these cases and take the necessary remedial action if required.

If a customer’s meter is inaccessible to the meter readers, the customer can submit his or her meter reading by using the e-services facility on the City’s website or by phoning the meter reading to 0860 103 089. Since March 2018, estimations are based over three months to avoid a once-off spike in an account.

For water-specific enquiries contact water@capetown.gov.za, send a WhatsApp to 063 407 3699 or SMS 31373.