MEDIA STATEMENT : INTERMITTENT WATER SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS/SHORTAGES IN GREATER Emalahleni AREA

INTERMITTENT WATER SUPPLY INTERRUPTIONS/SHORTAGES IN GREATER Emalahleni AREA

19 OCTOBER 2021

The Municipality is a Water Services Authority and Water Services Provider responsible for water services within the Municipal Jurisdictional area.

This in the main includes ensuring that there is adequate bulk potable water supply to all areas and that there is enough water retention in the system to sustain supply should there be an unforeseen event. The main source of potable water supply in the municipality is the Witbank Water Treatment Plant, reclaimed mine water and the modular package plant which supplies potable water into the municipal water supply system for the Greater Emalahleni area.

Potable water supply to consumers is facilitated by means of an integrated water supply system comprising of: raw water storage (dam), pumping mechanism, purification plants, storage receptacles, and distribution and reticulation networks to the point of consumption. The water supply infrastructure is composed of old and outdated technology components which are prone to failure. Further that majority of the distribution and reticulation networks are comprised of the asbestos cement pipes which requires to be replaced.

In recent past the municipality has been inundated with complaints from consumers about lack and or insufficient water supply as well as poor quality water from the municipality. An investigation has been conducted and was found that the main cause of the intermittent water supply and compromised quality was amongst others the following: old and aged infrastructure, uncontrolled high water pressures in the water supply system, installation of other services, interference by external factors, and access to affected areas, implementation of other projects, materials and spares turn around.

The above factors are interrelated and contribute to extended restoration of water supply services which impacts negatively on consumers especially during this pandemic period. The following are major water supply interruptions which had taken place within the municipality:

Witbank Extensions 16 and 41: the municipality has embarked on asbestos water pipe replacement program which the execution thereof results in water cuts. The main challenge faced is that the project is implemented in the build-up/developed areas, many other services within the same servitude and lack of as built drawings this identification of services takes long time, theft and vandalism of infrastructure.
Moreover that there are no visible water leakages that could be linked to cause of low water pressures in the system.

Siyanqoba, Klarinet Extensions, Pine Ridge: two major pipe breaks occurred in Old Coronation and Pap Vleis vicinity on the main line transporting potable water to these areas. The requisite materials and spares could not be sourced easily as they are non-shelf items and had to be obtained from outside. Further that repairs were stalled and delayed by safety consideration such that the municipal contractors and employees were insulted and threatened.

Kwa Guqa New Extension and Kwa Mthunzi Vilakazi (Clewer): there is a burst at Costas intersection which supplies potable water to Clewer, Kwa Guqa New extensions, Hlalanikahle Extensions and Empumelelweni. The pipe is rusted and corroded and three lengths of pipe has been replaced and observation has been made that the interconnecting valve is no longer functional and needs replacement.
Theft and vandalism is rife in these areas which is due to metal content of components used in the infrastructure system.

Model park Extensions, Die Heuwel Extensions, Highveld Park, Blancheville and Riverview Plots, Clearwater Estate and Jackaroo Park: the intermittent high pressures in the system resulting in water pipe breakages, aged infrastructure mainly composed of asbestos cement pipes.

The municipal wide water demand is much higher than the water supply into the municipal system and this phenomenon result in these unprecedented water supply interruptions. The following are some of the interventions employed to mitigate water supply shortages and low pressures: water tankers are utilized to affected areas, water rationing where practicable and enabling infrastructure is in place, monitoring and managing water storage reservoir levels for efficient distribution and attending to reported and observed water pipe bursts and leakages.

Long term intervention are acted upon which unfortunately requires both time high capital investment and the following are underway: increasing of the water use licence, exploring additional water supply schemes (Highveld, Siyanqoba scheme, Ben Fleur/Reyno Ridge, recycling of effluent, Doornpoort Scheme and underground water). The municipality has approved and adopted the water conservation water demand Management Strategy which is the product of the Municipal Water Summit which has identified a number of areas for implementation.

We are delighted that the BenFleur/Reyno Ridge water supply scheme by the utilization of modular package plant to a capacity of 20 Ml/day is at an advance stage and expected to be commissioned in this year.

It has been observed and reported through the South African weather services that the temperatures are soaring which will result in high water demand to burden the municipal water supply system, it is on these basis that communities and consumers are urged to use water sparingly and report all water leakages to the municipality for attention.

Further that the Country and the world at large is still experiencing COVID 19 for which we expected to observe and respect the protocols.
The municipality apologises for the inconvenience caused.  

Issued  by
Communication Unit
Emalahleni Local Municipality
Read 132 times Last modified on 20 Oct 2021
Communications Unit

The communication is a strategic function. The unit deals with Internal & External Communication, Conducting imbizo Programmes, Media and stakeholder liaison, media production, marketing and branding. The municipality has adopted the communication strategy, which entails the channels and tools of communicating to the stakeholders. These channels and tools are amongst other municipal website, municipal face-book, local print and electronic media.
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