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Grahamstown's Water Supply - A Brief History 1812-2008
A KCC committee member, Mr Lorraine Mullins, undertook the daunting task of pulling together all the known history of Grahamstown's water supply, the problems and the successes over the years. It has been published in the Annals of the Albany Museum. This resource will be a wealth of information for learners doing school projects. Lorraine searched through old records in the Albany History Museum , the Cory library and even went chasing after information from an engineering firm in Port Elizabeth. He notes that this started as what he thought would be a short task and eventually took him many months to compile. This is mainly due to his thoroughness in undertaking the research. The KCC and the citizens of Grahamstown thank Lorraine for his hard work and his tenacity to see this project through to completion. Summary Table of GHT Water Supply
Undated photograph taken by the old firm of Hepburn & Jeans (circa 1897) showing progress in the construction of either Milner, or Jameson, Dam. There are at least 120 workers at rest on the bank. Note the ox- or mule- drawn scotch-carts, which could be tipped to release their payloads. In the foreground stands an imposing figure, perhaps the engineer (Albany Museum Archives: SM Pic. 5801)
The full document can be downloaded here
Raw sewage spills potentially disastrous
Sewage leaks in Grahamstown east and west eventually flow into the Blaaukrantz (Bloukrans/Umatyana) River, which joins the Kowie River. Samples taken from the river have indicated dangerously high levels of Escherichia coli, at some sites as high as 300,000 CFU/100ml. As highlighted in articles in Grocott’s Mail (New warning over health threat; Sewage time bomb threatens), it is only a matter of time before this situation leads to disaster for sport, tourism and subsistence fishing, and a health catastrophe. The photograph below is an example of raw sewage flowing out of an inspection cover on an open field at the end of Albert Street, not far from Nathaniel Nyaluza School - which the Municipality repaired when we reported it. However, many sewage leaks continue to pose a grave and ongoing threat to the health of people, livestock and farmers in the Belmont Valley and beyond, and the environment. Read more at the Sewage Page and the Hotspot Map Page .

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Help Save Water!

We have had good rains, but we live in a chronically water-stressed area with erratic rainfall and frequent droughts. It is good practice to use water sparingly.
We need to adopt the following sustainable practices:
  • Harvest rainwater: Install a rainwater tank or two beside your house and collect free rainwater off the roof. You can use it for watering plants and cooking.
  • Re-use grey water: Attach a wide black plastic pipe to outlets from showers/baths and wash basins so grey water can flow into the garden. You can plant a small wetland around its outlet, or let it filter through sand first.
  • Install waterless sanitation: Flush toilets are a luxury that can't last forever. Think about waterless sanitation. It's the technology of the future, it's sustainable, and it's already in common use in SA, Australia, Dubai, the USA, etc. More info: http://www.enviro-loo.com
  • Plant water-wise: Many beautiful indigenous Eastern Cape plants use less water. In the veggie garden, use a thick mulch - which helps keep the soil moist.
  • Become water neutral: The WWF 'Water Neutral' scheme calls us to review our water use, reduce the amount we use, and replenish freshwater ecosystems. See: http://www.waterneutral.co.za
  • Fix leaks: A dripping tap or leaking toilet can waste more than 1000 litres per month. Fix it.
  • Flush toilet less: Flush only when you need to. Put a full plastic bottle in the cistern to reduce the amount of water flushed.
  • Low-flow shower: You can still enjoy your shower while using less water.
  • Don't bath: Showers are more hygienic and, if not longer than 7 minutes, use less water.
  • Don't wash cars: Washing non-essential things like cars, pathways, etc, is a waste of precious water.
  • Don't leave taps running: Switch off the tap while you clean your teeth, rinse veggies, wash dishes, etc.
  • Wash full loads only: If you must use a washing machine, buy one that uses less water, make sure it is full before use, and keep the water for flushing.
  • Report municipal leaks: Breakages and leaks anywhere in town have an impact on all of us. Report these immediately to our Municipality: 046-603.6136 / 6063
The KCC has written a letter written to Makana Municipality regarding this concern (click to read full document):
Updated 5 July 2014, Webmaster: kcc.site.manager@gmail.com