Council denies 17-year water leak

2015-12-02 06:00

THE Umgungundlovu District Municipality says it was alerted to a leaking water pipe in Howick four years ago, and conducted repairs then.

However, it had since been vandalised, resulting in a leak springing up again.

This was according to a statement from the municipality, following a report in the Witness that the pipe had been leaking for 17 years.

“The recent article in The Witness cannot be accepted at face value as it is an exaggeration of facts. The pipeline in question was reported approximately four years ago and was repaired.

“However, it has since been established that it has been vandalised, causing unacceptable water leakage. Parts of the valve have been removed, causing serious water wastage,” said the statement.

However, Dusi uMngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) members Moses Kilozo and Liz Taylor hit back, saying they had verbal verification from residents as well as Duct member and Howick resident Sandile Masondo, that the pipe - on the bank of the Umgeni River in the Siphumelele area in Howick - had been leaking since at least 2002.

Masondo said he and his friends had spent many days after school by the river, exploring its banks.

“I was in grade 9 when my friends and I first found the pipe. That was in 2002, 13 years ago,” he said.

As a young boy, he had not thought to report the leak. However, as he became more environmentally aware, and found the burst pipe was still gushing water in 2011, he knew he had to report it.

In 2011, Masondo and Kilozo made a film which showed the force of the water leak from the pipe, as well as leaks on properties around Howick. Kilozo confirmed that the pipe had leaked in 2011.

He said he had worked in the area for a number of years and scores of residents had told him that the pipe had been leaking for over 13 years.

The municipality said technicians were “working around the clock” to fix the leak.

“We request the public to report vandalism and burst pipes to our toll-free number 080 086 4911, where operators are on hand to advise technicians.

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