Cape Town residents have been suffering under extreme water restrictions for nearly 18 months.
These were implemented due to severe water shortages in the area.
However, some Cape Town residents have been without water for days on end due to another reason – faulty water meters.
This is according to reports from Cape Town residents received by MyBroadband.
According to a MyBroadband reader, a fault in his smart meter – which is is digital, not mechanical – is resulting in the water supply to his home being cut off.
The water meter is seemingly detecting a leak where none exists. The water connection is still turned off, however, to avoid wastage.
A contractor who attended to the reader’s meter reportedly said that they have had to reset the meters because the valve shuts off for no reason.
The reset is only a temporary solution, though, as the citizen told MyBroadband that his valve shut off again two weeks later.
Many Cape Town residents have also reported this issue online, with complaints spanning as far back as February 2018.
The complaints state that the meters – called Water Management Devices – were installed by the City of Cape Town earlier this year.
To prove there was an issue with his meter, the reader tracked his water usage for a week by taking a photo of the meter’s counter every morning before going to work, and again when he returned home.
There was no change in the counter – meaning that there was no usage – and no leak.
He stated that getting technicians to come out to investigate the problem – and reset his water meter after it shut off supply – also took up to several days.
While telephone support staff claimed the issue would be solved within 24 hours, there have been reports of it taking days to fix the meters.
City of Cape Town responds
When contacted by MyBroadband, the City of Cape Town said it was not familiar with the scenario described by the reader.
“Without investigations and/or a leak detection report from an accredited company confirming the status regarding leaks on the property, the City holds the view that the meter probably curtailed water supply due to a leak or taps left open on the property,” said committee member for informal settlements, water, and waste services Xanthea Limberg.
Limberg added that the city would investigate the cases mentioned.
This isn’t the first issue that the City of Cape Town has suffered relating to its water meter services this year.
After transitioning its uploading of monthly water readings from a third-party platform to its own service, the City of Cape Town had to deal with “technical challenges” that resulted in some residents being sent excessive water bills.
Pictures of the reader’s closed water meter are shown below.