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Getting to know your water meter to avoid bill shocks<p style="text-align:center;">​<span style="left:-23px;top:0px;width:673px;height:201px;z-index:251658240;"><img src="file:///C:/Users/KTSHAB~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:673px;" /></span></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;">​Did you know: <br>• More than 673 000 meters are recording the amount of water being used at properties across the city.<br>• On average a water meter reader walks about 5km to read approximately 267 meters per day.<br>• Approximately 2 500 residents submit their own monthly readings. You can too. </td></tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align:center;"><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman" size="3"> </font> </p><p><br>Residents are encouraged to manage their water usage responsibly as part of our collective effort to maintain a sustainable level of water use and avoid wasting water. </p><p>Undetected leaks on private plumbing can add significantly to residents’ water bills. Regularly reading meters can help residents identify spikes in water usage that could signify a leak, to avoid unwelcome surprises when the next monthly bill arrives. </p><p>Registered indigent households can also use regular meter checks to make sure their water use remains below the extended usage limit of 15 000 litres each month. This amounts to an average of 500 litres per day for the total household. This is the new approved usage limit for indigent residents, as part of a new approach to domestic water metering. Should indigent households exceed this limit for three consecutive months, despite warnings, a flow restricting disk will be inserted on their meter. This will limit water supply to 6 000 litres per month for a period of 12 months. (See the table below for more details.)</p><p>‘Residents can see the City’s useful guides on how to save water, find and fix leaks and use grey water safely, at <a href=""></a></p><p>‘Cape Town’s registered indigent residents are provided the largest water and sanitation allocation in the country, at no charge to the household. The City will continue to support registered indigent residents with monthly water allocation at no charge, while at the same time, encouraging residents to manage it wisely. The volume of water provided to qualifying indigent households has been increased, and residents may now independently manage their monthly water usage, and play an active role in the collective effort to avoid wastage and maintain a sustainable level of water use,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Water and Waste, Alderman Xanthea Limberg.</p><p>How to read my meter?<br>• Open your water meter box. If the lid is closed, you can usually open it with something like a screwdriver.<br>• No matter what type of water meter it is, the black numbers represent thousands of litres, called kilolitres, and red numbers represent litres.<br>• Water charges are based on the number of kilolitres of water used on the property every month. If you are submitting your own readings to the City (e.g. if your meter is difficult for meter readers to access), you only need to supply the black numbers when submitting your reading.<br>• Water meters continually record the amount of water that passes into a property throughout the lifespan of the meter. The tally on the meter does not reset from month to month. Subtract the previous reading from your current reading to determine usage for the period between readings. </p><p>Videos: English: <a href=""></a> <br>Afrikaans: <a href=""></a> <br>isiXhosa: <a href=""></a><br>Leaflet: <a href=""></a> </p><p>Monitoring your meter readings to check how much you're using or to confirm a leak <br>• Check how much the numbers on the meter increase to see how much water is being used. Monitor this on a regular basis e.g. weekly or monthly, and keep a written record.<br>• To check if you have a leak, first stop all water use in the house and note how much the meter reading is. Then wait about 15 minutes, and check the meter reading again. If the numbers have gone up, it means you probably have a leak.</p><p>You can help the City get an accurate reading for your water meter by doing the following:<br>• Make sure you know where your water meter is located – it could be within your property boundary, or beyond the boundary, on the Council side.<br>• Your water meter should be accessible to City officials at all times.<br>• Make sure it is not obstructed (e.g. by sand or weeds) and is easy to access and read.<br>• If your water meter is behind locked gates, or if dogs prevent the meter readers from taking a reading, you can submit the reading yourself (see below).<br>• Alternatively, ask the City to relocate your meter to the outside of your property, via the City's Service Requests application, to prevent repeated estimations.</p><p>What are estimated readings?<br>When the City can’t read your meter on a particular month, we will look at how much the property normally uses for that time of year, and bill the account based on average use. </p><p>This method is done throughout the world, to prevent delays in billing and residents’ accounts from accumulating. If accounts accumulate too much, and residents do not take this into account during their household spending, it can result in unpaid debts, and actions to restrict consumption at the property. </p><p>The City’s water billing system is sound and accurate.</p><p>Can I submit my own readings?<br>Customers who choose to submit their own readings generally do so to avoid the possibility of estimated billing if their meter cannot be read for any reason. Submitting your own reading is not compulsory.</p><p>You can use one of the following channels to submit your water readings:<br>• E-services: <a href=""></a><br>• Online: <a href=""></a><br>• Call: 0860 103 089 </p><p>There is a five day period in which readings need to be submitted, based on the billing cycle.<br>• Customers who register via E-Services are notified via their profile when they can submit readings.<br>• Customers who want to provide their readings via other platforms and the Call Centre etc, will need to enquire what their period is to submit readings.</p><p>Can my meter be faulty?<br>Most times when residents get an unusually high account, an undetected leak is to blame. </p><p>However, there is a possibility that meters may be faulty in a minority of cases. </p><p>If a resident receives an unexplained high account, please first perform the leak check described above before anything else. If this does not reveal a leak, you can apply to have your meter tested. There is a fee to cover the cost of the test, but if the meter is faulty, the fee will be refunded.  </p><p>There is also a small possibility of human error (e.g. transposing of numbers) in the meter reading process, and this can be easily queried and corrected.</p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;">​WHAT HOUSEHOLDS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW DOMESTIC WATER METERING APPROACH</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​Customers who qualify for indigent benefits</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<p>• WMD meters in service are being set to ‘open flow’, over time with effect from 1 July 2021. This is being done in phases.</p><p>• A systematic approach will be used. This means the meter will be set to open flow: <br>o As part of planned area-based projects to set properties on open flow.<br>o When a ‘no water’ complaint is received, and the department is at the property to attend to the matter. <br>o The department replaces the existing meter as part of normal replacement programmes.<br>o If a customer requests to be placed on open flow.</p><p>• Customers will be informed when the setting has changed. Customers are responsible to manage their usage to less than 15kl per month (daily average of 500 litres).</p><p>• If water usage on the residential property is higher than 15 000 litres a month (daily average of 500 litres) for two consecutive months, a warning letter will be sent advising of consequences should the usage not be lowered to required levels by the following month.</p><p>• If usage is higher than 15 000 litres a month (daily average of 500 litres) for a third consecutive month, despite the issued warning, then a flow restricting disc will be inserted in the meter to limit water supply to a trickle flow.</p><p>These discs are designed to allow 6 000 litres (6kl) per month to the property, which is aligned with the free basic allocation provided for in South Africa’s national water standards. This disc will remain in place for the following 12 consecutive months. After the 12-month period has passed, the disc will be removed and the same process for the property will start again.</p><p>• Leaks on private plumbing will be counted as part of household consumption. In terms of the City’s Water By-law, property owners must act quickly to fix leaks on their properties. (The City can still assist with once-off fixing of leaks on the indigent property where this has not been provided previously). See ‘find and fix leaks’ guide at <a href=""></a></p><p>• Customers who are currently exceeding the usage limit will be informed early in the new financial year (from August 2021) to ensure further awareness of the new procedures and allowing for change of behaviour during the first two billing cycles within the new financial year before warning letters are sent to customers.</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​Non-indigent customers</td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default">​<br>• Some non-indigent customers have existing WMD meters which may still be programmed to restrict flow to a certain level each day.  From July 2021 onwards, these WMD meters will also systematically be reset to ‘open flow’.<p>• Customers will be notified when the City intends to set meters to free flow so homeowners/tenants can implement alternative strategies to manage water consumption at the property, if necessary. Standard consumption tariffs will apply. </p><p>• Non-indigent customers whose accounts are in arrears for non-payment of municipal-related services will have to settle their account in full or enter into an agreed payment arrangement on receiving their overdue municipal account or in response to the debt management warning letters. Failure to do so will result in their water supply being restricted or reduced to a trickle flow using a flow-restricting disk. After a payment arrangement is entered into, the meter will be restored to open flow.</p><p>This is in line with the current debt management procedure in the City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy.</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Going forward </p><p>‘The City is continuing its journey to improve the Water Metering System to provide valuable information to customers in a timely manner, which will enable customers to better manage their water usage and avoid billing shocks, however customers will remain primarily responsible for identifying and fixing leaks on their property’s plumbing.</p><p>‘The new Water Metering ambition is envisaged to be rolled out over the next few years. This is in line with the second commitment of the Water Strategy, being ‘wise use of water’ by improving customer engagement, supporting active citizenship, and managing the water network effectively to reduce losses and non-revenue water,’ said Alderman Limberg. </p><p>For the City’s useful guides on how to save water, find and fix leaks and use grey water safely, see <a href=""></a></p><p>Logging service requests:<br>Please log your service requests or account queries using one of the following channels:<br>• E-services: <a href=""></a><br>• Email: <a href=""></a> <br>• Call: 0860 103 089 <br>• SMS: 31373<br>• The City’s contact offices</p>2021-08-12T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#1dd9e41a-1b2e-47c2-947b-d96eb03fff1a;L0|#01dd9e41a-1b2e-47c2-947b-d96eb03fff1a|water meter;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#20f79d77-9003-40a3-ad75-807af3c01d2c;L0|#020f79d77-9003-40a3-ad75-807af3c01d2c|Reading10

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