2 minute read
24 Feb 2021
1:51 pm

Water shutdowns are the start of Rand Water’s five-year maintenance plan

Five-year plan will ensure the maintenance of water supply infrastructure, but there will be disruptions.

Picture: Michel Bega

Rand Water has begun scheduled shutdowns of the supply of water to two metros on Wednesday with planned disruptions to supply expected to affect customers until Sunday.

In the next few years Rand Water will be replacing many damaged and aged pipelines.

Also Read: 30-hour water shutdown scheduled for large parts of Joburg

“This is a five-year plan to ensure the maintenance of infrastructure. We are trying to make sure that when we supply water to our customers and  the community there is no disrupted water supply to them. We do have a programme of replacement of infrastructure to ensure that (it) is efficient.”

Planned disruptions in Johannesburg are necessary for Rand Water to replace faulty valves on a cross-connection to its G23 and Q2 pipelines.

The 30-hour shutdown is scheduled to commence at 1pm on Saturday, 27 February 2021 to 7pm on Sunday, 28 February 2021, affecting 21 supply points.

Meanwhile, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the eThekwini Municipality will embark on a 19-hour shutdown affecting at least 62 neighbourhoods around Durban on 25 February. According to the metro, the planned interruption is to repair a failed scour valve at Umgeni Water.

Municipal customers account for 95% of total demand, with direct supply to mines making up most of the balance. Several major municipalities have amassed billions in debt to the utility leading to calls for intervention by national government.

Most recently, the South African Human Rights Commission found that the Vaal River system at Emfuleni Municipality was polluted beyond acceptable standards, owing to among other issues, damaged and vandalised infrastructure. The municipality owes Eskom and Rand Water more than R4 billion.

Also Read:Vaal River polluted ‘beyond acceptable standards’, says SAHRC

Rand Water promised to ensure all affected reservoirs would be filled before the commencement of the shutdown. Water tanks will be placed at certain points in Johannesburg to minimise the impact of the interruptions.

” We will open our Q2 and G20 as well as its Q2 and G24 pipeline cross connections to supply the Q2 pipeline upstream. The Q2 pipeline will also be supplied from Q1 and Q4 pipelines upstream. Supply, however may be interrupted, as the Eikenhof pump station will not pump into the Q2 for the duration of the shutdown.”

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