Lights and water cuts explained

2008-09-25 00:00

Water and power cuts in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas this past week were caused by accidents that damaged pipes and cables.

Hilton residents and Quarry Centre businesses had no water for four days.

Ward councillor Pam Passmoor said the problem was initially caused by a contractor felling trees near the St Michael Road reservoir. A large tree fell and broke the main pipe from the reservoir. Supplies were off on Monday and Tuesday while Umgeni Water fixed the pipe.

Water continued to flow in a trickle until it was found that a valve had become jammed with stones. She said the water supply was restored by late yesterday afternoon.

Power outages in parts of the city centre, Clarendon and Prestbury yesterday were caused by a “major” electricity cable being dug up by a construction team. Strategic executive manager for infrastructure, services and facilities Phil Mashoko said power was restored in the late afternoon.

Less fortunate were residents in Olympia Way, Northdale, whose ongoing water woes are the result of ageing infrastructure. They complained that they have had six water cuts in the past three months. Yesterday morning was the fourth time this week that they had no water. Mashoko said the municipality worked around the clock to restore water by yesterday.

Mashoko said the water pipes in Woodlands and Northdale urgently need to be replaced. The suburbs are priority areas on the council’s list.

Residents in Franklin near Kokstad were snowbound and without electricity from last Friday.

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