Taps dry as Umgeni Water has supply hassles

2011-07-21 00:00

BISLEY and parts of Lincoln Meade, Mkondeni, Cleland, Meadows and Hayfields were without water yesterday as a result of a reservoir running dry.

The Msunduzi Municipality was only too happy to point out that this time it was not to blame.

The Witness received a call from a Bisley resident who said taps went dry at around 5pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The caller, who asked to remain unnamed, said she was first told by the municipality that the problem was related to a burst pipe.

But she discovered late yesterday afternoon that the water cut in fact resulted from the Bisley reservoir running dry.

Brenden Sivparsad, the acting executive in the department of water distribution in the municipality, said Umgeni Water had an unforeseen supply problem, which meant that no water reached the municipality’s reservoirs.

“Since there is no supply from Umgeni Water the reservoir does not fill whil consumers are using water.

“As of 11 this morning full pressure supply was restored.

“However, since the reservoir was empty, it will take 12 hours or so to refill.

“As the reservoir fills up the different areas will start getting water,” said Sivparsad.

While a long shutdown usually warrants water tankers being dispatched, Sivparsad said no tankers were available at the time.

Explaining how a reservoir runs dry, Shami Harichunder, who is the corporate stakeholder manager for Umgeni Water, said there was a breakdown at the production plant in Midmar Dam. Midmar supplies the H.D. Hill Reservoir, which feeds the Bisley Reservoir.

“When Umgeni became aware of the problem on Sunday we reduced production or treatment of raw water to drinking water in order to isolate and begin to fix the problem.

“As a result of the reduction the water supply from Midmar to H.D. Hill Reservoir was affected.

“So there was water, but an inadequate supply.”

By yesterday afternoon the reservoir was filling and water levels were rising.

Harichunder said the Bisley reservoir was the only one affected. The water supply was expected to return to normal by yesterday evening.

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