Farmer fumes over water pipe flooding

2015-07-09 10:05
The Umgeni water pipe releases hundreds of litres of water on to Brushwood farm, severely damaging the land.

The Umgeni water pipe releases hundreds of litres of water on to Brushwood farm, severely damaging the land. (Supplied)

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AFTER suffering over R100 000 in ­water damage, a Wartburg farmer is considering taking legal action against Umgeni Water.

Brushwood Farm owner Baar Hirschowitz, whose farm is directly opposite an Umgeni Water pump station, said over the last six years, a pipe from Umgeni on his farm had been gushing thousands of litres of water on to his property and caused severe damage to his land.

“The pipe has been a problem for the last six or seven years and I have contacted Umgeni numerous times, and nothing has ever been done.

“This large, strong-flowing volume of water has caused and continues to cause damage to my property, including very bad soil erosion of my sugarcane fields next to the road, and to my road and contour network.”

Hirschowitz said the pipe began to pump large volumes of water onto his land on Tuesday. On approaching workers at the pump station, they told him they knew about the issue as they had opened a valve to let the water out to work on the station.

“Not only is it causing massive damage to my land and costing me hundreds of thousands of rands to repair, but it is also such a waste of precious water.

“We are in the middle of a massive drought and millions of litres of water are being wasted on my farm when they could save it.”

Hirschowitz said he was tired of reporting the issue and not having the problem solved. Now he would consider taking legal action against Umgeni Water if the problem persisted.

“Should the water flow from Umgeni cause damage again, I shall have no other option but to recover my damages, including the damage from previous events, and take legal action against Umgeni Water.”

Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder claimed the company had been unaware of the water spilling onto Hirschowitz’s farm until yesterday.

“Had we been made aware of the issue we would have acted promptly.

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, a full investigation was conducted and the pipe was fixed.

“We will continue to monitor the situation,” he said.

“Umgeni Water has a splendid reputation for the maintenance of its assets and infrastructure.”

KZN Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) appealed to municipalities and the public to report leaking or burst water pipes

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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