Resort’s high water usage remains a mystery

The saga has been running since 2009 and might run for some time yet as no clear answers have emerged after the Zandvlei Resort was closed for a while to see what was causing its high level of water consumption.

In its most recent article, the Echo reported on the equivalent of 267 bathtubs of water being used a day and, after a half-hour walk around a virtually empty resort, seeing that the water metre reflected usage of 0.6kl, that is, the equivalent of four bathtubs of water.

Gert Bam, director of the City of Cape Town’s sport, recreation and amenities department, said that his department had been doing inspections of the system over the past few months. “All visible leaks, which have been minor, have been attended to by the handyman on duty,” he said.

“The department has also enlisted the services of a private leak detection company to do quarterly checks.

“This company also confirmed that there are indeed no subsurface or other major leaks at the resort.

We are currently monitoring the readings on a daily basis to ascertain if there are any major fluctuations.”

He said that it was “reasonable to assume” that the fluctuation in consumption was directly related to the number of people using the resort, leading to higher consumption in summer months when there were more campers for extended periods as well as the chalets being occupied throughout the summer season.

“The fact that there were no major leaks detected over the last six months seems to support this position.

“The only way to establish a standard scenario is to have a long-term process to compare the daily out-of-season and daily in-season consumption and then do the same monitoring at other similar resorts to make a comparison,” he said.

“The City is continuing to monitor aspects of the water usage closely.

“The water meter readings for the past few months have been requested and the findings will be assessed to ensure that reasonable amounts of water usage occur on site.”

He said that his department would now do readings twice a day at this resort to monitor the level of water usage for this specific facility and to determine a reasonable level of water usage.

Unlike the City, for more than five years, Marine Estate resident Ferdinand Versfeld has been taking regular water readings from the resort, highlighting large amounts of water consumption, including the past few months where he noted 40kl per day (the equivalent of 267 bathtubs of water) up until the end of April when the resort was closed by the City to work out where the water was going to (“Zandvlei water woes”, Echo May 5). His response was brief and to the point: “I propose to keep tracking the consumption.”