Compliance Certificates

Download Our Compliance Brochure


What is a Water Compliance Certificate?

The City of Cape Town Water Services By-law (Section 14(1)) and the Wastewater and Industrial Effluent By-law (Section 2(2)(a)), stipulates that before a property can be transferred, a Schedule 4 Certificate of Compliance for the water installation must be issued. Only accredited plumbers (registered with the City of Cape Town) may work on premises or issue the water certificate.

The water installation has to meet the by-laws as well as the SANS 10252 and SANS 10254 regulations. The Schedule 4 Water Certificate is mandatory under local by-laws and is applicable only to property transfers that take place within the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town Municipality, which has been in effect since March 2011.

The primary purpose of the Certificate of Compliance of Water Installation is the prevention of water wastage, i.e. leaks or dripping taps in the supply pipes or system resulting in unintended and uncontrolled usage. Opening the tap is seen as intended usage.


There are only seven checks that are currently performed during the inspection and as long as the plumbing installation complies with these seven points, the inspector is obliged to issue a certificate and cannot compel the seller to rectify
plumbing issues over and above the checks required by the City of Cape Town. Find out what plumbing checks the inspector performs >>

Generally, more concerns arise from new property owners who believe inspectors could have done more. The new property owner believes that a certificate implies that absolutely everything to do with the plumbing installation will be 100%, which is not the case. Find out what is excluded by the Schedule 4 Water COC >>

Find out what the difference is between hiring a “cheap” plumber, compared to an experienced and qualified pumber in our blog:

City of Cape Town schedule 4 water coc example


Prevent water wastage. There should be no leaks in the system from the incoming supply on your property up to and
including the taps/outlets when in the OFF position.
Reduce unnecessary load on our sewerage system. No rain water may be disposed of in the sewerage system.
Prevent grey water from mixing with the potable supply. Naturally, we wish to keep our fresh drinking water safe to drink.
• Ensure the correct and safe installation of the geyser. High pressure geysers pose a possible explosion risk if faulty or incorrectly installed.
• Ensure the water meter works correctly.
• High pressure geysers can be dangerous if not correctly installed. The geyser installation is checked as part of the

Why Do You Need A Water CoC?

A Water Compliance Certificate is needed to make sure that no clean water goes to waste. This certificate is required as a local by-law and only applies to properties sold where the City of Cape Town is the municipal authority.

How Long Is The Water CoC Valid For?

The certification is valid for 6 months from the date of issue, or until any changes are made to the installation, and is renewable if the property is transferred to another party as per the City of Cape Town.

If changes are made to the plumbing installation, the plumber has to issue a new COC to verify that the installation adheres to city by-laws.

What Is Checked During The Water Inspection?

1. The hot water cylinder is plumbed correctly; PRV of the correct value, vacuum breakers correctly installed, emergency overflow installed with a metallic pipe, all overflows to be plumbed to the outside and discharge to atmosphere.
2. The water meter registers when a tap is open and stops completely when all taps are closed. If there is movement on the meter with all taps closed, this points to a leak somewhere on the property.
3. Terminal water fittings (i.e. taps, mixers, etc) do not leak when they are in the OFF position, and they are correctly fixed in position.
4. No storm water is discharged into the sewerage system.
5. There is no cross connection between the potable supply and any grey water system which may be installed.
6. The private isolating valve (stoptap) is in place and functioning.
7. The water pipes in the plumbing installation are properly saddled.

What Is Excluded By The Water CoC?
  1. Insufficient/low water pressure: Check this with your supply authority.
  2. Leaking water at the sink, toilet or basin: Leaks in the secondary or disposal system are not considered water wastage by the City of Cape Town as the water has already been used for its intended purpose and is now being disposed of. Pipes from your shower, bath, kitchen or bathroom sinks to the outside drain are not checked. If these pipes leak, it is considered normal maintenance and not a certificate issue.
  3. Poor condition of plumbing fittings: Chips, cracks or discolouration of baths, sinks, showers, toilets etc. is not a concern of the City of Cape Town. Example: The toilet or flush handle is broken.
  4. Blocked/Clogged drains & slow draining water: The City of Cape Town is not concerned in any way with blocked drains on your property, this is considered a normal maintenance issue, not a certificate issue.
  5. Fittings or connections to appliances that leak in the ON position: The connection to washing machines, dishwashers etc. is not covered by the certificate as long as the tap is not leaking in the off position.
  6. Discolouration or odour in water & overall water quality: This could be rust in the pipes or geyser, or a result of an external leak outside of your property.
  7. Irrigation systems or swimming pool installations: Generally, appliances and the connections thereof are not included in the certificate. So, if your swimming pool or irrigation system leaks (i.e.sprinkler system) when in use, it is a maintenance issue.
  8. Taps or fittings that are not connected to the installation: Occasionally, when a tap or some other fitting that is not connected to the water supply is found, the seller cannot be compelled to upgrade the plumbing installation.
  9. No hot or cold water supply to rooms where you would normally expect both: It is not the purpose of the certificate to upgrade the plumbing installation. At times, a house may have only cold or hot water supply to a kitchen or bathroom. As long as what exists is compliant, the seller cannot be compelled to upgrade the installation.
  10. Air blocks in pipes: This can occur when the water supply has been switched off for a while. Just open the taps in the house and let them run until the air has worked its way out of the system.

The Procedure and Cost of Obtaining a Water Certificate of Compliance (COC)


The price of an water COC inspection is usually a fixed fee depending on which legitimate contractible company/plumber you appointed for the COC inspection/s.

At Bugs & Sparks we offer a very competitive inspection fee of R550. Further discounts are when multiple COC inspections are requested for the same property (i.e. Electrical, Beetle, Gas, or Electric Fence).



We will not issue COC’s based on the work of others.

Please note the inspection fee is a consultation fee, and not a certificate fee (although Bugs & Sparks does not charge an additional fee for the COC). The fees, therefore, remain payable irrespective of who ultimately issues the certificate.

  • Complete our online inspection instruction form, and our back-office will make contact and arrange a convenient day & time for the inspection/s to take place.
  • After our qualified inspectors have assessed your electrical installation, we will notify you of any necessary repairs or adjustments to ensure compliance with the Code of Practice and relevant SANS regulations. 
  • Bugs & Sparks will provide a digital inspection report, including pictures, that details all the faults the inspector picked up.
  • Bugs & Sparks will then provide you with a comprehensive quote for any remedial plumbing work to obtain COC compliance.
  • Once you (the client) agrees to the quote, our plumbers will carry out the necessary work, after which we will issue a Schedule 4 certificate of compliance (COC) of the water installation
  • OR, if you don’t accept our quote, you can choose to engage another qualified plumber/company to perform the work and issue the COC. In this case, the inspection fees are still payable to Bugs & Sparks.
Bugs & Sparks complinace process - how to obtain certificates of compliance

Need a Water Certificate of Compliance in Cape Town?