Seven-day drought for parts of Scottburgh

2012-12-28 00:00

RESIDENTS and holidaymakers in parts of Scottburgh on the South Coast have been without water for seven days after floods damaged pipes and pumps at the beginning of the month.

Although Umgeni Water repaired the infrastructure, the water crisis has been exacerbated by the fact that water use on the whole South Coast is 30% higher than at the same time last year, according to Johan van der Walt, acting manager for water at Ugu District Municipality.

“As quickly as water is stored, it is used,” he said.

Van der Walt expects the situation to be back to normal by next week.

“People predicted the end of the world on December 21, but for us it was the end of the water,” joked Derek Gravett, who lives in a high-lying suburb of Scottburgh.

Families who were visiting from Gauteng left early because of the water crisis, he said.

“I feel as dirty as a pig because I last showered days ago.”

Some residents were going to the beach to use the showers, he added. Tankers were sent out at the beginning of the week and water tanks had been in place for people to draw water.

Gravett said that on very hot days he used the water to flush his toilets and bought bottled water.

Ugu municipal spokesperson Sipho Khuzwayo said floods on December 9 and 10 damaged water infrastructure in Umzinto, which supplies that town as well as Pennington and Scottburgh.

The damage was repaired by Christmas, he said.

The areas still affected are mostly high-lying parts of Scottburgh, because the pressure was still too low to move water to those areas.

Van der Walt said that if the water was to be cut off for certain periods to try to raise the levels in the reservoirs, air bubbles could subsequently cause more damage to the pipes.

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