Taps run dry in Ugu district

2012-09-19 00:00

IT has been a dry and frustrating four days in Southport, Melville, Hibberdene, Pumula and surrounding areas since the taps ran dry.

The problem started on Saturday evening when a pipe burst underneath the Domba River.

Contrary to what Ugu District Municipality had reported, residents in Pumula said water tankers were last sent to the area on Saturday morning.

Said Wendy Killick, a frustrated pensioner: “The tanker didn’t hoot or stop. The driver drove down the street and up again. My neighbour spotted the truck when it was already at the top of the street.

“When we phoned Ugu offices, nobody could give us an answer as to when the problem would be fixed.

“Sometimes nobody answers.”

Killick said it was extremely unhygienic and that worried her because her husband had developed a kidney infection, possibly from having no water.

William Walton, also of Pumula, said he was told several times that the water would be reconnected on Monday night or yesterday morning.

Heather Arnesen of Melville said she had not seen a tanker since the water cut.

“I am not able to do household chores. I have to take water from the pool in order to bath. I have asked four times for a tanker to be sent and I have been ignored,” she said.

Sipho Khuzwayo, spokesperson for Ugu District Municipality, said the fault was discovered on Saturday evening and it affected areas feeding from Melville Reservoir.

“These areas include Melville, Southport, Sunwichport and Hibberdene.

“Due to the immensely bad weather experienced on Saturday, Ugu’s technical team was unable to immediately repair the burst pipe as the river had flooded badly.

“Water tankers were dispatched to the affected areas on Sunday evening, and are currently delivering water until service is fully restored.”

He said the Ugu call centre contacted 1 350 households via bulk SMSes, notifying them of the situation.

“More and above that, all customers whose cellphone numbers are registered on our system are being sent SMS notifications every eight hours,” said Khuzwayo.

He added that Ugu’s technical team was working around the clock to divert the pipeline and restore services as soon as possible, but delays were expected as this was a high-risk operation.

• news2@feveronline.co.za

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