Taps run dry in parts of city

2016-10-20 11:16
Umgeni Water's 30-hour shutdown compounded by pipe burst and theft of meters.

Umgeni Water's 30-hour shutdown compounded by pipe burst and theft of meters. (File)

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A number of suburbs in Pietermaritzburg were left without water yesterday as Umgeni Water’s 30-hour shutdown was compounded by pipe bursts and the theft of meters.

Among these were Newholmes, Belfort and Imbali.

A burst pipe on Mayfair Road nearly drained the system and most Newholmes residents awoke to empty taps on Wednesday.

Darjeeling Heights was plagued by thieves who made off with 10 water meters in Ricky’s Terrace.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the municipality was forced to shut down the water supply to the Darjeeling Heights area yesterday to replace the stolen meters.

Mafumbatha said she expected the supply to return to the area by yesterday afternoon.

Umgeni Water began a 30-hour shutdown on Tuesday to conduct essential maintenance on their infrastructure.

The maintenance would ensure a more stable supply of water in future, the water utility said.

Mafumbatha said although Umgeni Water had compensated for the long shutdown by filling up the city’s reservoirs, unforeseen incidents such as water meter thefts and pipe bursts had compromised the system.

“When these unforeseen burst pipes occur, they drain our storage faster than originally anticipated,” she said.

Mafumbatha said it was anticipated that the full supply of water would have been restored to most affected areas by last night.

“There are exceptions whereby certain areas, by virtue of their location, will receive water by Thursday [today],” she said.

The high-lying reservoirs in Belfort, Imbali, Copesville, Azalea, and Unit BB were critically low on Wednesday but were expected to have stabilised through last night.

“Umgeni Water in conjunction with Msunduzi Municipality would like to apologise to residents for any inconvenience during this period.”

Mafumbatha urged residents to report any burst pipes and running water to the municipality immediately.

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