Joburg water shortages continue

2014-09-22 23:22
Resident Andile Mhlola looks at the obsolete water tap in Video Centre informal settlement. There's only two taps for this community of more than 2000 people. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

Resident Andile Mhlola looks at the obsolete water tap in Video Centre informal settlement. There's only two taps for this community of more than 2000 people. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

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Johannesburg - Water shortages in some parts of Johannesburg persisted on Monday evening, Johannesburg Water said.

Spokesperson Millicent Kabwe said in a statement that most water towers and reservoirs were filling up following problems with several pump stations.

"However we have emerging low water levels at Rabie Ridge, President Park and Randjesfontein reservoirs.

"The suburbs supplied by the three storage facilities include Ebony Park, Kaalfontein, Ivory Park, President Park, Glen Austin, Allendale, Country View, Rabie Ridge and Mayiboye." Water tanks were being established at areas that were starting to experience supply problems, with priority being given to hospitals and schools.

Water tanks were already available at:

-- The South Hills water tower and 21 Risana Road

-- Westdene on the corner 4th Avenue and Thornton Road, as well as in the parking lot of U Save)

-- Triomf on the corner of Miller and Edward Street

-- Coronationville Hospital.

"We would like to plead with residents that do have water to use water sparingly during this period," Kabwe said.

Two more days

Earlier officials said that the widespread water problems affecting Gauteng should be resolved within the next two days.

This was after a string of problems at Rand Water pump stations beginning last Monday.

Last week, the problems with Eikenhof pump station left parts of western and southern Johannesburg, the West Rand and Ekurhuleni without water.

The problem coincided with a seasonal peak in demand for water, as high temperatures hit Gauteng, Rand Water chief operating officer Sipho Mosai said.

When power was restored at the Eikenhof pump station, the Vereeniging pump station went off line.

"The good news is, Vereeniging and Eikenhof are back on," Mosai said.

Mopleton pump station, supplying areas including Brakpan and Vlakfontein, then also went down, followed by the Palmiet pump station on Monday morning.

The power supply to Palmiet station - which supplies areas including Germiston, Primrose and Bedfordview - was restored by 15:00.

Mosai said that after power was restored, it would take time to fill the reservoirs, particularly those in high-lying areas that feed people's homes. This was likely to be achieved within the next two days.

Johannesburg City Power executive manager of operations Louis Pieterse said that a standby transformer for the Eikenhof pump station had given trouble since it was installed late last year.

When there were problems with the dedicated transformer supplying the pump station last Monday, the standby transformer could not be used.

The standby transformer would need to be replaced with a new one, and this would take 14 days.

During this time, there would be no back-up transformer if there were problems with the main transformer, which could potentially result in further extended water cuts.

Pieterse downplayed the risk to the water supply during this time.

"The chance is really nil. We tested that transformer thoroughly," he said.

"But there is that potential risk."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  water

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