Property owners within the jurisdiction of The City of Cape Town may receive a water bill that seems unusually high, and the reason for this may be attributed to underground leaks. The good news is that the City of Cape Town’s By-Laws allow for owners to get a reduction of their water bill, but only for undetected underground leaks.
The Tariff By-Laws exclude leaks on plumbing to convenience fixtures such as irrigation systems, automatic filling systems to ponds, pools, fountains, and similar, where the disconnection of these systems from the primary erf plumbing installation would have prevented the water wastage in the first instance.
Conditions for a Rebate
The Tariff Policy makes provision for the cost of the wasted water to be shared equally between the City and the property owner, which means an owner will always have to pay half of the cost of repairing the leak.
The rebate will be calculated by comparing the average consumption over a corresponding period, to the increased consumption due to the leak. For example: if an owners average consumption was 10KL per month, and the leak caused a consumption of 20KL, then the City will share the leak induced wastage of 10KL with the owner.
Owners can only submit one claim for a leak at a specific property and the City will only consider a rebate for a period covering the last three municipal bills. It remains the responsibility of owners to note any excessive water usage and to take the necessary steps to fix any leaks within that period.
The rebate will also be made conditional on the owner applying for and paying the fee for the installation of an activated Water Management Device (WDM) in order to reduce the risk of further water losses from leaks.
How to apply for a water leak rebate
In order to apply for a rebate due to an undetected leak, owners can visit their closest walk-in municipal office.
Before the City of Cape Town can consider an application for a rebate however, the leak will need to be repaired by a qualified plumber, who must furnish the owner with a Plumbing Certificate, which contains the following:
- Exact location of the leak on the property,
- The nature of the leak; and
- Steps taken to repair the leak.
Owners should then take this Certificate to their closest walk-in municipal office, in support of their application for a rebate.