Water By-law, 2023
- Published in Provincial Gazette 2579 on 10 August 2023
- Assented to on 30 March 2023
- Commenced on 10 February 2024
- [This is the version of this document from 10 August 2023.]
PreambleWHEREAS the Municipality recognises that water is a basic human need, plants and animals to survive, and that water is necessary for social and economic development, to create jobs, for recreation and for health, religious and spiritual purposes;WHEREAS the Municipality recognises that, as a water services authority, it has a duty to all customers or potential customers in its area of jurisdiction to progressively ensure efficient, affordable, economical and sustainable access to clean water services;WHEREAS the Municipality recognises—(a)the need to regulate access to water services in an equitable way, taking into account financial, technological, socio-economic and conservation factors;(b)the duty of customers to pay reasonable charges for the supply of water;(c)the right of the water services authority to limit or discontinue the provision of water services if there is a failure to comply with reasonable conditions set for the provision of such services;(d)the need to manage the conflict between different uses and users in different catchments;(e)the need to develop sustainable means of providing access to water services to those who are still without such access;(f)the need to maintain and improve services already supplied in a sustainable manner;(g)the need to provide various measures to assist those who are economically unable to meet normal water service charges; and(h)the need to provide water services in support of all forms of economic development and to carry out the above in a manner which supports the preservation of impacted ecosystems;WHEREAS the Water Services Act establishes the Municipality as a water services authority and the Municipality’s Water Unit as a water services provider for the Municipality’s area of jurisdiction;WHEREAS the Municipality has competence in terms of Part B of Schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 relating to such matters as the control of the provision of water services;WHEREAS the Municipality has competence, in terms of section 156(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 to make and administer By-laws for the effective administration of the matters which it has the right to administer;AND WHEREAS the Municipality has a duty to make By-laws for the provision of water services in terms of section 21 of the Water Services Act;NOW THEREFORE the eThekwini Municipal Council, acting in terms of section 156 read with Part B of Schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and read with section 11 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000), hereby makes the following By-law:
1. DefinitionsIn this By-law, unless the context indicates otherwise—"approved" means approved by the Municipality;"authorised official" means a person authorised to implement the provisions of this By-law, including but not limited to—(a)peace officers as contemplated in section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977);(b)municipal or metropolitan police officers as contemplated in the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995); and(c)such employees, agents, delegated nominees, representatives and service providers of the Municipality as are specifically authorised by the Municipality in this regard: Provided that for the purposes of search and seizure, where such person is not a peace officer, such person must be accompanied by a peace officer;"backflow" means the flow of water in any pipe in a direction opposite to the normal direction of flow;"back siphonage" means the backflow of water resulting from negative pressures in a water installation or in the water supply system;"borehole" means a hole sunk into the earth for the purpose of locating, abstracting or using subterranean water;"capacity" in relation to a storage tank means the volume of the tank between the operating water level of the tank and the invert of the outlet from the tank;"chase" means a space or groove in a masonry wall or through a floor for pipes or ducts;"combined installation" means a water installation used for firefighting and domestic, commercial or industrial purposes;"commercial purposes" means for the purpose of carrying on a business or trade;"communication pipe" means a pipe which is vested in the Municipality and installed by it for the purpose of carrying water from a main water pipe to a water installation;"compliance certificate" means a certificate issued on the prescribed form by the water inspectorate certifying that the installation work complies with this By-law and other required standards;"Constitution" means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996;"customer" means any person with whom the Municipality or its authorised agent has entered into an agreement for the provision of a municipal water service to the premises of which such person is an owner, including any person who is authorised by the owner to enter into such an agreement with the Municipality in respect of the owner's premises;"disinfection certificate" means a document which certifies that the process of disinfecting has been completed;"domestic purposes" means the supply of water to dwelling units for purposes including drinking, ablution and preparation of food;"dwelling unit" means accommodation intended for human habitation which has—(a)its own metered electricity supply;(b)its own exclusive entrance; and(c)a kitchen for the sole use of its residents;"finished ground level" means the level of the earth or any other surface on the ground;"fire installation" means a water installation which conveys water solely for the purpose of fire fighting;"flow limiter" means an electronic device which allows for a normal flow rate but restricts the daily volume to a preset amount as determined by the Municipality;"flow restrictor" means a washer which is installed in the water connection which allows a daily consumption of approximately 360 litres in a six hour period but at a low flow rate;"general installation" means a water installation which conveys water for domestic, commercial or industrial purposes;"Head of Department" means the person appointed by the Municipality as the head of the municipal department responsible for the supply of water;"illegal connection" means any connection to the water supply system which has not been authorised or approved by the Municipality;"industrial purposes" in relation to the supply of water, means water supplied to premises which are used for the manufacturing, production, extraction, adaptation, alteration, renovation, repair, processing or servicing of any article or material and includes the use thereof—(a)as a factory;(b)by a building contractor for the storage of builder’s material;(c)for the stacking, storing or preparation for resale of scrap material;(d)as a storage warehouse;(e)as an office, caretaker’s flat if it is 100m2 or less, or for any other purpose which is incidental to or reasonably necessary in connection with the use thereof as a factory, builder’s yard or scrap yard,but does not include the use of any land or building as a fuelling or service station;"installation work" means construction or any other work carried out on a water installation;"leak period" means either the metering period—(a)immediately before the date on which a leak is repaired; or(b)during which a leak is repaired,: Provided that the leak period does not exceed 65 days;"main" means a pipe, other than a communication pipe, which vests in the Municipality and is used by it for the purpose of carrying water to customers;"member" means a constituent part of a structural whole;"metering period" means the time interval between two successive billed meter readings but excludes any leak periods;"Municipal Council" or "Council" means the eThekwini Municipal Council, a municipal council referred to in section 157(1) of the Constitution;"Municipal Manager" means a person appointed in terms of section 54A of the Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) as the head of administration of the Municipal Council;"Municipality" means the eThekwini Municipality, a category A Municipality as contemplated in section 155(1) of the Constitution;"occupier" includes—(a)any person, including the owner, in actual occupation of premises regardless of the title under which he or she occupies those premises, if any; and(b)in the case of premises let to more than one tenant, the person who receives the rent payable by the tenants, whether for his or her own account or as an agent for a person entitled to the rent;"operating water level" means the level of water reached in a storage tank when the valve controlling the inlet of water to the tank closes under normal operating conditions;"owner" means—(a)the person who is the registered owner of the premises as reflected on the deed of property in the relevant Deeds Office;(b)where the registered owner of the premises is insolvent or deceased, or is under any form of legal disability whatsoever, the person in whom the administration and control of his or her estate is vested as curator, trustee, executor, administrator, judicial manager, liquidator or other legal representative;(c)where the Municipality is unable to determine the identity of such person, a person who is entitled to the benefit of the use of the premises or a building or buildings on the premises;(d)where such premises have been leased for a period of 30 years or longer, the lessee of the premises; or(e)in relation to—(i)a piece of land delineated on a sectional plan registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 as common property, the developer or the body corporate in respect of the common property; or(ii)a section as defined in the Sectional Titles Act, 1986, the person in whose name such section is registered under a sectional title deed, and includes the lawfully appointed agent of such a person;"pollution" means the introduction into the water supply system, or a water installation, of any substance which could make the water harmful to health or impair its quality;"premises" means any piece of land whose external surface boundaries are delineated on a—(a)general plan or diagram registered in terms of the Land Survey Act, 1997 (Act No. 8 of 1997) or in terms of the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act No. 47 of 1937); or(b)sectional plan registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act No. 95 of 1986);"prescribed" means as determined by resolution of the Council;"prescribed charge" means a charge prescribed by resolution of the Council;"Provincial Gazette" means the official Gazette of the province concerned;"registered contractor" means a person, company or any other business entity who is registered with the Municipality as an approved contractor in accordance with Chapter 7 of this By-law;"responsible plumber" means a person who is registered with the Municipality as an approved plumber in accordance with Chapter 7 of this By-law;"SABS" means the South African Bureau of Standards as defined in the Standards Act, 2008 (Act 8 of 2008);"SANS" means the South African National Standard as approved by SABS in terms of the Standards Act, 2008 (Act No. 8 of 2008);"SANS 6509 " means the South African National Standard requirements relating to the determination of dezincification of brass;"SANS 241-1" means the National standard for drinking water;"SANAS" means the South African National Accreditation System;"Sectional Titles Act" means the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act No. 95 of 1986);"schedule of approved pipes and water fittings" means the list of approved pipes and water fittings for use in water installations as prescribed by the Municipality, together with any conditions relating to the use of such pipes or fittings;"service pipe" means a pipe which is part of a water installation and which connects with the communication pipe;“Skills Development Act” means the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998;"storage tank" means a tank forming part of a water installation and used for the storage of water, but excludes a—(a)cistern serving a water-closet pan or a urinal; and(b)tank used for the storage of hot water;"terminal water fitting" means a water fitting at the outlet of a water installation which controls the discharge of water from the water installation;"water fitting" means a component of a water installation, other than a pipe, through which water passes or in which it is stored;"water installation" means the pipes and water fittings—(a)which are situated on any premises;(b)vested in the owner of the premises; and(c)used or intended to be used in connection with the use of water on the premises,and includes a pipe and water fitting situated outside the boundary of the premises, which either connects to the communication pipe relating to such premises or is otherwise laid with the permission of the Municipality;"water services" means the supply of potable water and sundry services;"Water Services Act" means the Water Services Act, 1997 (Act No. 108 of 1997);"Water Supply By-law of 1996" means the Durban Metropolitan Water Supply By-laws under Provincial Notice No. 104 of 1996, in Provincial Gazette No. 5157, dated 26 September 1996;"water supply system" means the structures, aqueduct, pipes, valves, pumps, meters or other appurtenances relating thereto which are vested in the Municipality and are used or intended to be used by it in connection with the supply of water, and includes any part of the system; and"working day" means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or a public holiday.
2. Interpretation of By-lawIf there is a conflict of interpretation between the English version of this By-law and a translated version, the English version prevails.
3. Object of By-lawThe object of this By-law is to regulate water supply in a manner which—
4. Application of By-lawThis By-law applies to all areas which fall under the jurisdiction of the eThekwini Municipality and is binding on all persons to the extent applicable.
Levels of supply: Households and informal settlements
5. Supply of potable water to householdsPotable water may be supplied for domestic purpose only via one of the following water supply systems:
6. Temporary supply of water to informal settlements
Application for supply of water
7. Application for supply of water
8. Special agreements
9. Purpose of supplyWater supplied by the Municipality must be used solely for the purpose specified in the agreement for a supply of water.
10. Termination of agreement for supply of water
11. Provision of security
Provision regulating supply of water by the municipality
12. Unauthorised use of waterA person may not take water from the water supply system through any other means except through a communication pipe or from a hydrant.
13. Communication pipes
14. Interconnection between premisesAn owner of premises must ensure that no interconnection exists between the water installation on his or her premises and any water installation on other premises, unless he or she has obtained the prior written consent of the Municipality and has complied with any conditions it may have imposed.
15. Conditions of supply
16. Cutting off and restricting
17. Interruption of supply at customer’s request
18. Disconnection of water supply
19. Metering of supplies
20. Quantity of water supplied to a customer
21. Water restrictions
22. Special metering
Water supply to housing developments
23. Public participation
24. Amendment, revocation and review of water supply levelsThe Council—
Approval of installation work
26. Approval to be obtained for installation work to be done
27. Extension of period of approvalThe Municipality may, on written application by the owner prior to the expiry of the original period concerned and subject to payment of the prescribed charge, from time to time, extend the period of validity of approval given in terms of section 26—
29. Copies of drawings to be kept on siteA complete set of approved drawings of installation work must be available at the site of the work at all times until receipt by the Municipality of the compliance certificate submitted in terms of section 38(1)(d).
30. Unauthorised workIf installation work has been done in contravention of this By-law, the Municipality may by written notice require the owner of the premises concerned, at his or her cost, if the work—
Control of installation and other work
31. Persons permitted to do installation and other work
32. Registration of contractors
33. Registration of responsible plumbers
34. Registration certificates
35. Replacement of certificates
36. Register of contractors and responsible plumbers
37. Cancellation of registration
38. Responsibilities of a registered contractor
39. Responsibilities of a registered responsible plumberA registered responsible plumber must—
40. Work done by persons who are not registered
Testing, disinfection and use of water installations
41. Testing and disinfection of water installations
42. Testing or disinfection of water installation required by Municipality
43. Pressure testing
44. DisinfectionThe sterilisation or disinfection of water or pipes and fittings must be carried out in accordance with approved standards.
45. Use of water installations
General water installation requirements
46. Provision and maintenance of water installations
47. Approved pipes and water fittings
48. Acceptance requirements for pipes and water fittings
49. Inclusion in schedule of approved pipes and water fittings
50. Performance criteria for pipes and water fittings
51. Design criteria for water installations
52. Pumping of water
53. Installation of pipes
54. Isolating valves
55. Storage tanksThe Municipality may prescribe standards and requirements for the installation, maintenance and inspection of storage tanks.
56. Emergency supply connections to domestic installations
57. Installation of fixed water heaters
58. Maximum temperatures in hot water circulating systemsThe temperature of the water which discharges from a terminal water fitting supplied from a hot water re-circulating system may not exceed 55°C.
59. Back siphonage of hot waterAcceptable measures, to the Municipality’s satisfaction, must be taken to prevent the back siphonage of water between hot and cold water in a water installation.
60. Provision of strainers
61. Prevention of pressure surgesA person may not connect to a water installation, a water fitting or apparatus which causes or is likely to cause damage to the water supply system or another water installation, as a result of pressure surges.
62. Sizes of pipe
63. Installation of solar water heaters
Prevention of undue conspumption of water
64. Waste of water
65. Use of water as a heat-exchange mediumA person may not allow water—
66. Hot water distribution systems
67. Heat pumps
68. Discharge from terminal water fittings to be visibleA terminal water fitting, other than a float valve serving a cistern or a storage tank, must be installed in such a position and in such a manner that discharge of water from the cistern or tank, as the case may be, can be readily seen.
69. Overflows from cisternsThe overflow pipe from a water-closet cistern must be carried through an outside wall of the building concerned so that discharge of water from the cistern is readily visible from outside the building.
70. Flushing of water-closet pans and urinals
71. Metering taps and showers
72. Terminal water fittings outside buildingsAn owner may not install on a premises, apart from a residential premises, a terminal water fitting outside a building unless it—
Prevention of pollution of water
73. Owner to prevent pollution of waterAn owner must, at his or her own cost, take the necessary steps, acceptable to the Municipality, to prevent the entry of a substance which may be a danger to health or adversely affect the potability of water into—
74. Protection of water supply system
75. Design and installation of backflow preventers
76. Inspection and servicing of backflow preventers
77. Protection of water installation
78. Unmetered supply of water for firefighting purposes
79. Sizes of pipes
80. Pumping connections
81. Non-return valves
82. Pressure gauge and test valve
83. Installation of pipes
84. Defective meters
85. Adjustment of quantity of water supplied to customer through a defective meter
86. Adjustment of account if meter is defective
Protection of water supply system
87. Trespassing on water supply systemA person may not enter—
88. Interference with water supply systemAn unauthorised person may not interfere or tamper with the water supply system
89. Unauthorised connectionsA person may not make an illegal connection to the water supply system
90. Damage to water supply system
91. Obstruction of access to water supply system
92. Pollution of water supply
93. Pipes in public placesA person may not lay or construct a pipe or an associated component on, in or under a street, public place or other land owned by, vested in, or under the control of the Municipality, without the prior written permission of the Municipality and subject to such conditions as it may impose.
94. Payment for water supplied
95. Amendments to prescribed charges for water suppliedIf amendments to the prescribed charges for water supplied become operative on a date between meter readings, it must be deemed, for the purpose of rendering an account in respect of the charges, that the same quantity of water was supplied in each period of 24 hours during the interval between the meter readings.
96. No reduction of amount payable for water wasted or leakage undetectedA customer is not entitled to a reduction of the amount payable for water supplied to him or her if—
97. Other chargesThe Municipality may, in addition to the prescribed charges for water consumed, prescribe and levy any of the following charges:
98. Water supplies from a hydrant
99. Resale of water supplied by Municipality
100. Liability for chargesThe owner of a premises, and not the tenant, is liable in respect of the charges for water supplied to that premises.
101. Conditions relating to chargesThe Municipality may prescribe conditions and requirements relating to the metering of water supplied to different categories of customers, and the liability of those customers to pay the prescribed charges for water supplied.
102. Leak repair policyThe Municipality may prescribe the following after following the public participation process contemplated in section 23:
103. Domestic water insurance
104. Service subsidyDomestic residential customers supplied via a semi-pressure supply are entitled to a reduction on the standard tariff for consumption of up to 30 kilolitres per month.
105. Unallocated consumptionWhen water consumption is recorded on a property during a period for which there is no registered customer against whom a bill can be raised, the relevant charges for water services must be raised against the registered owner on his or her consolidated bill.
106. Deceased estates
107. Notices and documents
108. Compliance notice
109. False statements or informationA person may not make a false statement or furnish false information to the Municipality, nor falsify a document issued in terms of this By-law.
110. Prescribed mattersThe Municipality may, by following the public participation procedure referred to in section 23, prescribe any standard, condition, requirement, policy or any other matter required for the implementation of this By-law.
111. Transitional arrangement
112. Responsibility for complianceIt is the responsibility of the—
113. Existing water installation
114. Use of water from sources other than the water supply system
115. Notification of boreholesThe Municipality may by public notice require the—
116. Sampling of water
117. Supply of non-potable water
118. Conditions of supply of non-potable water
119. Use of non-potable water for irrigation purposes
120. Warning signs and notices
121. Power of entry and inspection
122. IndemnityThe Municipality and any authorised official are not liable to any third party for any damage caused by anything lawfully done or omitted by the Municipality or the authorised official in carrying out any function or duty in terms of this By-law.
123. Lawful instructionsFailure to comply with a lawful request of the authorised official constitutes a contravention of this By-law.
124. Recovery of costs
125. RelaxationThe Municipality may, on a case by case basis, relax or waive the requirements of a provision of this By-law upon such conditions as it deems fit to impose and if it is of the opinion—
126. OffencesA person is guilty of an offence under this By-law if he or she—
130. Repeal of laws and savings
131. Short title and commencementThis By-law is called the eThekwini Municipality: Water By-law, 2022 and takes effect six months from the date of publication thereof in the Provincial Gazette or on such earlier date as may be determined by the publication of a commencement notice in the Provincial Gazette.
History of this document
10 February 2024
10 August 2023 this version
30 March 2023