Cape Town's Water is Blue Green Good!

Many Capetonians may remember the "2010 Drink Tap Water Campaign"  during the Soccer World Cup last year! This was part of a much larger effort to create awareness around the high water quality of the tap water provided to residents and visitors in the City.


The consistently good quality of the City's drinking water was recently recognised by the National Department Water and Environmental Affairs, when it received a Platinum Award for having achieved Blue Drop Awards three years in succession for the drinking water quality of its complete water supply system to the Metropolitan Area.


Cape Town’s drinking water quality achieved a score of 97.61%, the second highest score by just 0.08% less than the highest score. In addition, the City also received four other Blue Drop Awards as the Bulk Provider to areas in the Stellenbosch and Drakenstein Local Municipalities.


In the Green Drop Awards for Waste Water Treatment Plants, the City received 11 of the 40 Green Drop Certificates that was awarded nationally for 2010 – the highest number of Green Drops achieved by any municipality in the country. The City was in competition with many municipalities that have only have one or two wastewater systems, compared to the 26 in the City. Having fewer wastewater systems makes it easier to obtain a higher percentage score for quality, but yet the City achieved an 85% score for quality, as well as the coveted trophy for the most Green Drops awarded for the volume of wastewater treated.


The City's Water and Sanitation Department's exceptional acheivements in the 2010/2011 Blue and Green Drop Awards is one that every Capetonian should be extremely proud of and thankfull for. Not many of us pause to think where the water that comes out of our taps actually comes from, we are all guilty of taking it for granted at times.


Why drink tap water? The question should be “Why drink bottled water?”

Drink Tap Water


There is no logical explanation for the regular use of bottled water in Cape Town. Cape Town tap water is some of the best in the world; it is safe, clean and healthy – fresh from the mountains. Bottled water costs more, it is not better quality or healthier for you than tap water and it pollutes our planet unforgivingly.


Why avoid bottled water?


  • Bottled water uses up valuable energy and resourcesDrink Tap Water to create packaging for something that runs cheaply and cleanly from the tap in your own home.
  • It takes 3-5 litres of water to make just one 1-liter bottle.
  • The manufacture of every ton of PET produces around 3 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Worldwide, 2.7 million tons of plastic are used each year to make water bottles.
  • Cape Town is rapidly running out of landfill (waste dump) space. Landfills produce toxic leachate and methane, which pollutes land, air and water. By avoiding bottled water you reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill.
  • 96% of bottled water PET plastic bottles end up in rubbish bins rather than recycling bins.
  • Disposable water bottles take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.
  • Bottled water often contains more bacteria and impurities than tap water; municipal water systems are regulated more stringently than the bottled water industry.
  • Plastic water bottles can leach harmful and carcinogenic synthetic chemicals, such as Bisphenol A (BPA), into the water they contain.
  • It’s expensive; 500ml of bottled water costs as much as R6.00, whereas 500ml of tap water costs less than a cent!

Imagine all this money spent on something that is available for free from a tap, while there are 1.1 billion people, or 18 per cent of the world’s population, who lack access to safe drinking water.


Quench your thirst and put the planet first. Drink tap water.

Image Credits Bruce Sutherland and Kevin Newman - City of Cape Town