Shops benefit from dry taps

2010-12-24 00:00

UMGENI Water yesterday afternoon restored water flow to areas around Pietermaritzburg where residents’ taps had run dry due to a transformer fault at the Howick West Pump Station.

Households in Howick, Merri­vale, Mpophomeni, Hilton, Blackridge, Sweetwaters and Vulindlela were without water for two days.

The replacement transformer had to be ordered from Pretoria.

Surrounding shops reaped the benefits with the Kwikspar in Hilton soon running out of bottled water.

According to one of the store managers they had sold about 20 five-litre bottles within the first two hours of operations yesterday. Smaller bottles were just as popular.

“We have had a lot of people coming in for water even after we had run out and we had to refer them to our sister store, the Spar at the Quarry, which had a few bottles left,” said the manager.

When contacted by The Witness at 4 pm, the corporate stakeholder manager for Umgeni Water, Shami Harichunder, said the work of installing the transformer had been completed.

All that remained to be done was to fill up the reservoirs and the network of pipes that get water to the affected households.

“Water supply works in two ways. There is a box supply Umgeni provides to the municipality.

“The municipality in turn supplies reticulation, which allows for water to be supplied directly to households.”

“What usually happens is the low lying areas get the water first followed by those in higher areas. But by 7pm to 8pm everyone should have water,” Harichunder said yesterday afternoon.

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