New plastic push-taps to curb water loss

2016-07-12 12:23
Copesville residents use the new plastic push-taps that were installed in the area last week. The taps have a lever that must be held in a depressed position for water to flow. This is expected to reduce water losses resulting from twist taps, which can be left running. The new taps also have a valve that prevents water losses if the lever breaks.

Copesville residents use the new plastic push-taps that were installed in the area last week. The taps have a lever that must be held in a depressed position for water to flow. This is expected to reduce water losses resulting from twist taps, which can be left running. The new taps also have a valve that prevents water losses if the lever breaks. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - After repairing the communal standpipes in Copesville more than 15 times since the beginning of the year, the Msunduzi Municipality says that theft and vandalism of water infrastructure in the area is out of control.

The city had again repaired all standpipes in the area last week, and was hopeful that the new plastic push-taps would survive the plague of theft and vandalism. “We have had to install plastic push-taps in the area. This is a trial. If they stand the test of time, we will be rolling it out everywhere,” said Msunduzi water and sanitation manager Brenden Sivparsad.

He said the plastic taps might be “frustrating” to communities, but “we have no choice as the area is subjected to vandalism and theft”.

Msunduzi spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they planned to educate the community following the spate of thefts in the area. “Apart from educating the community, we appeal to them to stop stealing and vandalising. We do not have the resources to guard each and every standpipe in the city, but we rely on individuals to do the right thing,” she said.

Sivparsad said that in addition to the vandalism of standpipes, more than 120 brass water meters were stolen in Copesville in two months.

Madonda said 20 meters were stolen from Mercedes Drive last week, and another 20 were stolen yesterday from Alabaster Drive.

She appealed to communities to understand that “we are fast running out of water, and everyone needs to play a role in preserving it”.

“We can appreciate that we as council can do better with the response times [to water leaks and burst pipes], but we all need to work as a collective in saving the city water,” she said.

Sivparsad appealed to Copesville residents not to blame the municipality for the water shortages in the area. He explained that when water meters were stolen, the entire reticulation system in the area was shut down for repairs to take place.

“This means that the area will be left without water while the repairs are being done. If the theft of these meters continues unabated, then Copesville residents will be without water for longer than necessary,” he said.

He appealed to residents to assist in curbing the theft and vandalism of the meters and standpipes.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  water
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