‘Houses in lower parts of the city will get water first’

2016-06-27 11:59

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Pietermaritzburg - If you live closer to a reservoir, it does not necessarily mean you will get water first.

Speaking at a media briefing last week, the manager of Msunduzi water department, Brenden Sivparsad, explained how the city’s reticulation system works.

He said residents needed to understand that the water reticulation system was complex.

“The system was not designed around people and wards. It was designed around hydraulic and supply needs,” Sivparsad said.

He explained that the houses situated in higher lying areas in Pietermaritzburg such as Montrose, parts of Edendale and Prestbury will be most affected during this drought.

“The lowest reservoirs fill first, so the houses in the lower parts of the city will get water first. The consumer closest to the highest reservoirs will get water last.

“The system is just designed that way,” he said.

Sivparsad explained that 99% of Msunduzi’s customers are fed water through a gravitational feed system and not via a pump.

There are two bulk systems that feed water to Pietermaritzburg — the Umgeni 61 pipeline, which feeds the south-western region and the DV Harris pipeline that feeds the north-eastern region.

“The system is also not intertwined, meaning we cannot take water from Bisley and give it to Copesville,” he said.

Sivparsad said it was a “daily juggle” to manage 70 reservoirs at the same time and it was difficult to sustain and maintain the levels of water daily.

“Since the start of the drought, we balance the reservoirs every two to three hours. The control valves are not supposed to be handled so often but with balancing, we have to do this. This results in our infrastructure taking strain.”

He said they were “sensitive to the plight of the people living in the most affected areas” but were doing everything they could to assist.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water

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