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Thursday Oct 12, 2017

Demand for Cape Town boreholes rises

Companies in Cape Town are struggling to keep up with demand for borehole installations and well points.

Some said demand was so high they cannot help everyone and are putting customers on waiting lists.

This comes as the Western Cape is experiencing its worst drought in 100 years. The City of Cape Town has implemented Level 5 water restrictions including water rations and water pressure reductions.

Charl de Wet from CA Wellpoints and Boreholes said they were struggling to keep up with demand for installing boreholes and well points.

"The demand is so high that we cannot help everyone. And it will peak even further next month during summer," he said.

"We're already telling people now that we will only be able to help them next year. Due to the drought, people are looking for water alternatives.

"Customers are telling me that grey water is not working and they rather want a borehole. They're using the borehole water for their gardens and for topping-up their swimming pools. Some are even drinking the borehole water after purifying it. Now that we have Level 5 water restrictions, demand for boreholes and well points has increased even more," he said.

De Wet said Cape Town has a lot of underground water. But he also warned people against unscrupulous borehole and well point companies.

"They do not know how to drill boreholes and a lot of people have lost money in the process. One person called me about a 100 metre borehole on his property which is pumping salt water. They cannot use this water unless they get a desalination system, which is very expensive," he explained.

Another company, De Wets Wellpoints and Boreholes, also said they'd seen an increase in requests for the installation of boreholes and wellpoints. The company's Gabby de Wet said demand was far higher than the service providers in the industry were able to cope with.

"The high volume of requests for boreholes has increased over the past 18 months. It's becoming more as the days are getting hotter and the prospect of rain fades. The uncertainty of water supply alternatives via desalination plants, etcetera, further forces residents to go for groundwater installations," she said.

Simone Smith from Exsolar said their company had put people on to waiting lists.

"We most definitely received a substantial increase in enquiries in the past year and especially since the introduction of Level 3 water restrictions," she said. "We're working on a waiting list system."

Cape Argus

 
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