Athlone: no water for days

2008-01-04 00:00

RESIDENTS of Athlone fear they may be faced with prolonged disruptions to their water supply, similar to those that occurred in the Montrose area last year, when residents were without water for 28 hours.

A burst pipe in Osborne Grove, off Howick Road, caused the water cut in Montrose, forcing residents to buy bottled water even after their water supply was restored, as the water was unfit for consumption.

Despite assurances from the municipality that water tankers would be dispatched to the area, the trucks only arrived after the water supply was restored.

Residents said that when the water came back on, it was a rusty colour with a soil residue.

Marlena de Villiers of Montrose said that using small quantities of bottled water is unbearable.

“When we realised there would be no water for a bath, we had to boil some water to have a bath in a basin. With a family of four, if each family member has a basin wash twice, it amounts to four five-litre bottles at R14 to R16 per bottle.

“And there’s no spare water to flush the toilets! Add to this at least another two bottles for cooking and drinking and it costs the family a minimum of R96 per day,” said De Villiers.

Athlone residents have had water interruptions since New Year’s Day, with no assistance from the municipality in sending out water tankers to the affected Hosking Road area until yesterday.

When contacted by The Witness, the municipality said that water tankers had been dispatched to the area and that the pipe had been repaired and water restored to the area.

The public was assured by the municipality that the soily residue was due to the pipeline repair of the burst pipe, which involves scouring through fire hydrants to remove the residue.

The scouring does not get all the residue out of the system at once, and leaves the initial water with a brown tinge. The municipality said that the water is harmless and safe to drink.

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