Montrose residents fed up with ‘patch-up jobs’ on water pipe

2013-01-16 00:00

“NO more patch-up jobs. We want a new water pipe!” This has become the rallying cry of Montrose residents, who this week experienced yet another pipe burst and yet another two days without water.

Resident Barry Glasspoole said the suburb’s water woes had been going on for the past five years.

The main pipe supplying the area that runs through Wylie Park has burst several times, leaving residents without water — once for three days.

Glasspoole said each time the municipality had simply done a patch-up job and the amount spent on repairs could probably have paid for three new pipes.

The residents had it particularly bad during he holiday season, with a pipe burst on Boxing Day and then again on Monday.

The water supply was restored at about 6 pm that day, only for the pipe to burst again at around midnight, leaving taps dry once more.

The burst pipes came on top of the power outages experienced after last week’s thunderstorm that left large parts of the city, including Montrose, without electricity. The pipe was fixed by late yesterday afternoon and the water supply restored, but residents are wondering for how long.

Ward councillor Dave Ryder said the hardest hit were the large number of bed and breakfast establishments. He said he had received frantic calls from owners who were expecting guests from the United States and Italy and who were wondering whether they would be forced to cancel the bookings.

Ryder said the good news was that the council had allocated funds to replace the problematic pipe and work was expected to start in March. He said the project could not start immediately because the pipe ran through a public park and was next to a water course.

It would have to be replaced and moved, and this required meeting certain environmental regulations which the staff were currently sorting out.

Ryder was getting regular updates from the municipal water section yesterday and he said municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi was fully aware of the problem.

The ward councillor was hopeful that the problem woul finally be resolved. “Funds have been allocated, the municipality has a plan and there are timeframes,” he said.

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