Cape Town Municipal By-Laws Will Restrict Showerhead and Tap Mixer Flow

  • Depending on water pressure, the average ‘unrestricted’ 5-minute shower will use between 80 and 100 liters of water.
  • The average bath will use between 150 and 200 liters of water.
  • The City of Cape has proposed a water by-law restricting the water flow of showerheads and tap mixers.

In addition to water use restrictions for households of no more than 50 liters of water per person per day, the City of Cape has also proposed amendments to its water by-laws.  Under  Schedule 2 – Water Demand Management (2017), the amended by-law stipulates the flow regulation of tap mixers and showerheads.

In terms of the new water by-law amendments, the maximum flow rate from any showerhead may not exceed 10 liters per minute.  The maximum flow rate from any tap installed in a wash hand basin may not exceed 6 liters per minute.

The City is upping its game in water conservation by flexing its control and regulation of water services. The move comes at a time when Cape Town is facing longest drought ever recorded and taps are set to run dry in the City. Property owners will be bound and responsible for ensuring compliance with the by-law in respect of all matters relating to the water-related installations and the maintenance thereof.

The by-law extends to the entities responsible for installations. Provisions are made regarding the responsibility of plumbers who will need to be registered with the City Council. The City will also have the right to cancel the registration of plumbers.

Low-flow’ showerheads plus regulated tap mixers are readily available in the South African market, however very few are authentic and deliver in terms of water savings performance. Stick to quality household brands like Hansgrohe who put a lot of investment and research into the performance of their tap mixer and shower ranges.

The majority of Hansgrohe shower heads – from the smallest to the larger sizes, in various designs are available in EcoSmart versions. The Raindance EcoSmart overhead and hand showers consume only 9 liters of water per minute, while the Crometta 85 Green overhead and hand showers consume only 6 liters of water per minute.

Many tap mixers and shower spouts do not function properly when water pressure is low. The Hansgrohe Eco-Smart range has a “precision O-ring”  which reacts flexibly to the water pressure and adjusts water quantity. If the pressure is high, the ring makes the opening smaller. If it is low, it expands the opening.

Other City Councils around the country are expected to follow the example set by the Cape Town City Council. If you are renovating or retrofitting your bathroom, or building a new home, specify a brand like Hansgrohe for your showerhead and tap mixers. There is a design for every décor taste plus you are assured that the product complies with anticipated by-laws regulating the water flow of tap mixers and showerheads in South Africa.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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