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Boreholes


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Dear All,

 

some time ago the Joburg municipality told people to put up signs saying they have boreholes. This is when there was water restrictions and people were watering their gardens and getting spied out to the municipality by their loving neighbors.

I heard yesterday that Joburg water has now been going around to people who have a "zero" water bill because they use borehole water at their homes. Joburg water is now installing water meters on the borehole because they say that the title deeds of the house does not make the water your property (same as when you find minerals under the ground at your property).

 

Has anybody else had a similar experience?

 

(do we take down the borehole sign or use a mix of municipal and borehole water or is this now the new tax that will eventually lead to a solar tax because the sunlight does not belong to us?)

 

Regards

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I am told by a few independent people that they have started to do this in the southern suburbs of joburg.

 

At least 6 people that i know of have had visits from joburg water.

 

The water meter is being installed at the point where your borehole pipe exits the ground and where the casing protrudes.

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2 hours ago, DeepBass9 said:

Thank you, this makes a lot of sense. 

2 hours ago, Merlin said:

The water meter is being installed at the point where your borehole pipe exits the ground and where the casing protrudes.

That for me is right in the middle of my driveway. Wish they install it there, Would love to park something "To Heavy" on the manhole cover every so often. Might just get a very expensive exercise for the party's involved. 

4 hours ago, Merlin said:

people who have a "zero" water bill

Within 6 weeks after I commissioned my borehole and closed the muni ball valve, 2 inspectors driving a bakkie with logos from a JHB based company rocked up at my place (Phalaborwa) to come and inspect the meter. A "Zero" consumption was reported by the council and they need to assess the situation. 

4 hours ago, Merlin said:

or use a mix of municipal and borehole water

I should have maybe opted for this, to prevent the "Zero Use" scenario.   

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Well blow me down. It is a national regulation.

And this titbit seems the key for the home boreholes: "... if a person uses more than 10 kiloliters of groundwater per day (10 000 liters/day) for a ‘non-commercial small garden’, then they are exceeding the limits of Schedule 1, and the water use should be registered."

From here: To register or not to register…? Permitted water use explained in terms of the National Water Act

For the CoCT, having had our "DayZero" fiasco, search for "brorehole" in these PDF's:

Bylaw 2010:  http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws and policies/Water By-law 2010.pdf

Updated here in 2018: http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws and policies/Water Amendment By-law 2018.pdf

Makes sense as water is a national resource.

But what amazes me is the risk of Land Subsidence with overuse - check that picture of land subsidence in California.

Makes me wonder. What if one opts for rainwater tanks yet a lot of others in ones area opted for boreholes. Few years later your house starts experiencing subsidence?
Here, hold my beer kinda fight there. 🙂

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On 2019/06/27 at 11:26 PM, The Terrible Triplett said:

Well blow me down. It is a national regulation.

And this titbit seems the key for the home boreholes: "... if a person uses more than 10 kiloliters of groundwater per day (10 000 liters/day) for a ‘non-commercial small garden’, then they are exceeding the limits of Schedule 1, and the water use should be registered."

From here: To register or not to register…? Permitted water use explained in terms of the National Water Act

For the CoCT, having had our "DayZero" fiasco, search for "brorehole" in these PDF's:

Bylaw 2010:  http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws and policies/Water By-law 2010.pdf

Updated here in 2018: http://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Bylaws and policies/Water Amendment By-law 2018.pdf

Makes sense as water is a national resource.

But what amazes me is the risk of Land Subsidence with overuse - check that picture of land subsidence in California.

Makes me wonder. What if one opts for rainwater tanks yet a lot of others in ones area opted for boreholes. Few years later your house starts experiencing subsidence?
Here, hold my beer kinda fight there. 🙂

I suppose one could argue, that these water storage tanks require a foundation or footing, and that planning permission is required. Therefore, a fine for non-compliance is a nice way to make some additional revenue?

CoCT begged every resident to reduce water consumption to 50 liters/day, and when those that paid the municipal bill, generating the required cash-flow to finance the indigent, low income, and non-paying users, found alternative solutions, and effectively went "off-grid", this cash-flow dried up. As a result, the basic charge was introduced, based on your mains water supply pipe. Now we the same basic charge on the amp rating of your electrical supply. And fines for tanks already installed, and metering with allocation to the ground water.

Damned if do! Damned if you dont!

 

 

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On 2019/06/29 at 5:21 PM, Blinkwater9 said:

Damned if do! Damned if you dont!

Yes, and because of that, I have moved from off-grid to grid tied, costing them about R1k per month. 

But I do see why the connections fees for water and electricity is needed. Without that income there is no budget to fix the pipes or municipal grid. 

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4 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

I do see why the connections fees for water and electricity is needed

We argued about this before but I still think to charge a connection fee is the wrong approach. With a connection fee you are giving the "supplier" a guaranteed income. This will reduce the pressure to improve efficiency and ultimately lead to a higher price of the "product". A higher price of the "product" will lead to reduced sales and loss of competitiveness. 

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2 minutes ago, Fuenkli said:

... connection fee you are giving the "supplier" a guaranteed income.
A higher price of the "product" will lead to reduced sales and loss of competitiveness. 

Yes we did ... 

On 2019/06/29 at 5:21 PM, Blinkwater9 said:

Damned if do! Damned if you don't!

🤣

The thing is that IF I want to get rid of my rainwater tanks and / or my solar install then I have the connections in place and they where maintained.
Alternative is to disconnect the water and electricity supply to our properties.
Then we are left with the sewage / grey water matter which need the pipes to be maintained and for that sewage to be treated somewhere.

So ja, as much as we hate the fact to pay, there are shared resources somewhere off our properties that must be maintained by someone and they need to be paid.

Only "winners" are farms, but I'm not so sure it is a cheap thing to handle, own water + electricity + sewage.

+-R300 per month to make it not my problem is "cheap".

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27 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Alternative is to disconnect the water and electricity supply to our properties

there would be no need if you could get as much water and electricity as you need from the grid at a competitive price 🙂.

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I still think the municipalities have no jurisdiction over groundwater as it is a national government competency. I think the municipalities have just EWCed groundwater so they can charge money for it, but I don't think they have any right to do that.

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1 hour ago, DeepBass9 said:

I still think the municipalities have no jurisdiction over groundwater

I agree with DeepBass9 here. The municipal juice that gets delivered to our taps goes through all sorts of purification and chemical treatment and I can understand paying for it. Paying for water underground that would otherwise flow straight into the ocean, shouldn’t be charged for. It costs them nothing.... 

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17 hours ago, Solaris said:

I agree with DeepBass9 here. The municipal juice that gets delivered to our taps goes through all sorts of purification and chemical treatment and I can understand paying for it. Paying for water underground that would otherwise flow straight into the ocean, shouldn’t be charged for. It costs them nothing.... 

One must also look carefully at the legislation, and take into account the ONLY larger commercial users are given allocations (as I understand it?) and I'm not sure if physical metering is actually performed in some way? Residential use requires only registration, which is free. Never actually completed, but there isn't any cost attached.

My borehole/well-point delivers well over 1250/hour and can potentially deliver vast amounts of water over a period of time. I am consuming about 500-600 litres/day AVERAGE, and the local council showed almost no interest in my system what so ever? 

I feel strongly, that if they want to regulate my ground water consumption, FIRST they must acknowledge the fact that I have the resource? 

Until date, all requests to register the well-point/borehole have been met with confusion and outright ignored? Even in COCT, my well-point in Brackenfell the registration process has never gone further than the application to register. They made an effort to visit the premises, to ascertain why the consumption had decreased from 20Kilo-litres/month to under 500litres, but the registration has simply never been processed.

I also do not want to completely disconnect, as should the need arise, the council supply of water and electricity, can offer a degree of comfort and assurance, that I have some kind of alternative.

 

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