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The City advises residents that pool backwash should not enter the stormwater system. It is advised to use a recycling system for this backwash.

As part of the City of Cape Town’s commitment to effectively managing and conserving our natural environment, pool owners are advised that in cases where they do not have a recycling system in place, backwash systems should discharge into the sewer system rather than the stormwater system.

Pool backwash is very high in chlorine and other chemicals that can have a destructive effect on the natural environment. If this water is discharged into the stormwater system, it can pose a risk to ecosystems downstream. As such, those who are found to be doing this are liable to a fine of R1 000.Although the City’s by-laws do allow for backwash to be discharged into the sewer system, the City recommends that all pool owners investigate the installation of a system whereby the backwash is recycled. These systems return the backwash water to the pool once it has been treated.

‘In a water-scarce area such as Cape Town, residents need to try and save water wherever possible. Not only will the above system protect stormwater from contamination, but it will also mitigate against the need to refill the pool. With dam levels as low as they are, we request that residents who have pools investigate this as a matter of urgency,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

The City would also like to remind residents that automatic top-up systems for pools are prohibited. In order to prevent evaporation, the use of a pool cover is recommended.

‘We would like to reiterate the call for residents to familiarise themselves with the water restrictions and ensure that they stick to the provisions thereof. The possibility of lower than average rainfall going forward is such that we need to make every drop count,’ said Councillor Sonnenberg

More information on water restrictions can be found here:, or by clicking on the ‘water restrictions’ tab on the right hand-side of the City of Cape Town’s home page.

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