While in the rural areas boreholes are considered one of the main sources of water for domestic and other related uses, their eminence in urban residential areas is not as commonplace.
Obviously, this is due to the fact that tap water supplies are readily available in urban areas, and therefore boreholes are used as supplementary supplies for domestic, commercial, and industrial requirements.
However, in areas where the tap water supplies are erratic or more expensive in larger quantities (industrial/irrigation uses), boreholes have provided a convenient way for water supply.
Besides the aforementioned, upon a decision to drill a borehole one needs to acquaint themselves with attendant regulations to avert hefty penalties of non-compliance.
As a point of departure, it must be stated that the attendant regulations are laid out by the local authorities who preside over those jurisdictions, and therefore may differ in certain respects.
The party wishing to drill a borehole on their property may be required to notify the municipality of the intention to drill the borehole.
As with town planning requirements, some areas may not be suitable for active underground water exploitation, or the water drainage may not be suitable for the intended use. This may be owing to many reasons from contamination, water table being inaccessible or unsustainable.
The purpose of the notification therefore will be to initiate the municipality of its inspectorate duties and to ensure the property owner is aware of all the attendant regulations applicable.
In Johannesburg this is required by section 41 of the Public Health By-Laws. Such notification to the municipal authority must not be confused with the surveillance of the installer who usually requires an inspection of the property to see if a water table may be found on the property for drilling purposes
Section 14(1) of the City of Johannesburg’s Land Use Scheme (2018) provides for consent of the local authority before drilling a borehole and in the East Rand this is provided under section 85 of the Ekurhuleni Municipality’s Water By-Laws.
Upon clearance and permission by the municipality, the property owner may proceed to drill according to such and any directives of the local government authority.
The safety measures of the installation are indeed the responsibility of the property owner, and the party will need to make sure that the borehole is adequately covered so as not to cause any injuries to persons or animals.
The outside of the property fitted with a borehole must be affixed with a noticeable, official sign pointing to the presence of the borehole on the property. This sign contains the registration number of the borehole and is issued officially.
Also, the water outlets and appliances that use water from the borehole must be marked with a weatherproof notice which is received upon registration of the borehole. Such notice specifies that the water from this source is not suitable for domestic purposes, unless cleared so upon a water test which may need to be renewed annually.
Water usage licensing of the borehole is largely premised on the purpose and this varies from domestic to industrial uses depending on the quantities used.
Kindly contact us for comprehensive assistance pertaining to borehole compliance as well as all matters related to property purchase and transfer. Our conveyancing attorneys are ready to offer expert legal assistance.
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