Water department ropes in divers to resolve Queenstown water supply issues

2019-09-18 21:24


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The provincial Department of Water and Sanitation has roped in divers to resolve the current technical issues faced at the Waterdown Dam that supplies water to Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.

In a statement on Wednesday, the department said current water levels stood at 29%. 

The Waterdown Dam is situated about 62km outside Queenstown. 

"The levels dropped below the levels of the valves normally utilised to supply water to the area," the statement read.

As a result, the department will aim to utilise valves further below, which are 20m lower than the ones usually used.

"The services of a diver have been procured to go deeper into the dam and release the valve that will allow for the right pressure to release water to Queenstown," said the statement.

The reason to go deeper into the dam, according to the department, was due to the fact that the valves were inactive for years, which had led to them becoming stuck and unresponsive. 

Previously, it was found that oil contamination had halted the release of the water.

The department has also roped in the services of a second team that will dive even deeper. 

"All of this procurement of services was made in order to secure water flows to the town and is being done within the prescripts of the department's supply chain management," the department said.

It also hopes that the Xonxa Dam water supply project on the White Kei River will be ready for commissioning by September 23.

The multimillion-rand project is expected to supply water to Queenstown and surrounding areas and the department hopes, given the low levels in the Waterdown Dam, the project can be fast-tracked.

Read more on:    queenstown  |  water crisis  |  water

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