Photos From A Cape Town Home During Drought: “Our New Normal…”

By Sharon Laurenson

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This is our new normal in Cape Town… writes Sharon Laurenson. No matter where you live on our planet Earth, please be mindful of your water usage. Day Zero and there being NO water is becoming a real fear here.

The City of Cape Town has just announced that from February we’re being reduced to 50 litres per day from 87 litres. So scary…

Photos from home, Cape Town – Our New Normal:

(Photo above) Filling 5l bottles with well point water to flush the toilets. It takes 10l for one flush!!

Such a las lifting the cistern lid to pour well point water in to flush. The bath is obsolete and has become the chair for draping clothes instead of being put into the laundry hamper which is just two steps to the left – sigh.

Tip from a friend: “You don’t need to lift the cistern lid. Just pour straight into the toilet bowl. It works really well.”

Another tip: “Do a normal flush once a week, shower water too – let it run down the drain… I did not and ended up with blocked drains and a hectic plumber bill – they said something about grey water messing up the pipes.”

This water crisis is one huge learning curve…

Went to read our meter – the water dept turned the reading number dials to face Australia when they fixed it 5 years ago so there have been no accurate readings. No note or knock on the door to say they can’t read it!!

Mosquito breeding pool. Have not run the pool motor since April – the level was too low. Topped up with rain water from the gutter.

‘Shocked’ it but need a pool company to come in to get rid of the sludge. We do have a cover too.

Grey water tank in what was once a green oasis. All our 2-minute shower and washing machine water goes into this and a hose runs out front to water our trees once the tank gets to a certain level. Need to get the guy back to disconnect our kitchen sink outlet – ugh the smell.

(Tip from a relative: “Washing machine water needs to be used within 24 hours or you start breeding very nasty bacteria…”)

I’ve started using Probac liquid in the washing machine and white vinegar as softener and that’s helped a lot. Probac also make something to put in the tank to combat bacteria and the smell – need to get that too. Been a real lesson this drought.

Theewaterskloof Dam today!! This supplies Cape Town with its drinking water.

Hopefully this rain prediction is accurate. It’s light rain but every drop is precious. Hope it rains over Theewaterskloof Dam.

Hopefully we get a good winter rain fall…

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