Water distribution breaks explained

2015-10-14 06:00

I HAVE been inundated with inquiries regarding breaks in water distribution to areas of Illovo Glen and Astra Park.

There was a burst 100mm pipe at the St Gabriel and St Raphael intersection that affected areas around Berrio Park on Monday. The pipe was excavated and replaced and a site inspection conducted at 5pm on Monday confirmed that water flow was restored and the network was being primed - normal flow was expected by 7pm and the hole was filled the same evening.

Contradictory to rumour, the pipe was not damaged during excavation, but was excavated because it burst - it was an actual burst, and not an incorrect diagnosis.

There was however, a further, much more serious burst reported at 3pm on Monday, relating to the main high rise 400mm line that feeds off the 74 Almond Road reservoir.

It has absolutely nothing to do with any strike action and the pipe embedded some three metres underground, and it was not in any way sabotaged by employees or third parties.

A team was dispatched who worked into the night, first removing a section of palisade­ fence and then excavating to expose a burst pipe located between a special junction and the first joint outside the reservoir parameter.

The break being of such nature that a standard section of pipe could not merely be replaced to re-establish flow, but rather a steel pipe needed to be purposely cut and welded to angles in order to accommodate the repair.

The night-shift welding team was however, by that time, already occupied with another fabrication in Illovo, thus necessitating the task to be undertaken by the day-shift staff.

A Tuesday 9.30am on-site inspection confirmed a team taking measurements while a second team continued pumping water out of the hole and breaking away at the concrete casing embedding the junction.

The affected areas include St Winifred from Almond Road down to the N2, including Uitsig Road and lower Illovo.

One has to be aware that a large area is affected and once the repair is complete will take several hours to pressurise the system and release air from the network - as such residents will note water being discharged from fire hydrants when air is being replaced by water.

While water tankers are in the area , arrangements have been made for a tanker to be parked at the R603 and Riet Road intersection opposite the Uitsig Road shopping centre and Engen garage.

We will endeavour to post updates on our Facebook site to keep residents informed.

Cllr André Beetge

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