Water disruptions to last for six days, after power trip leaves reservoirs critically low

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The Eikenhof pump station has been problematic since the start of the year. Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images
The Eikenhof pump station has been problematic since the start of the year. Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images


Disruptions to Johannesburg’s Commando water system –  which is comprised of Brixton, Hurst Hill and Crosby reservoirs – are set to last for six to seven days after a power failure affected supply capacity at the Eikenhof bulk water pump station.

Johannesburg Water announced that Rand Water’s Vereeniging water treatment plant experienced a power failure in the early hours of Monday morning, which affected supply to several of Johannesburg’s water systems.

The Commando water system remains the most affected, with teams dispatched to ensure that water supply is improved as soon as possible. 

Rand Water spokesperson Masenkosi Maroo told City Press: 

We experience power trips from time to time, and we have to call a power supplier to assist. They will have to come and assess the situation and come up with a solution.

Maroo said that, in the past, Rand Water had experienced other power trips and vandalism on some of its booster stations, but they were currently pumping at full capacity.  

READ: Johannesburg Water system crash adds to water woes

When power is restored, it takes a while to fill up the reservoirs, impacting water supply to residents and other users.  

The Vereeniging power failure affected supply in Waterval, Quellerina, Eagles Nest and Crown Gardens, and the Commando system.

Johannesburg Water said in a statement that the Quellerina and Waterval reservoirs should have begun to function optimally by Monday evening.

“Rand Water’s Meredale reservoirs and Johannesburg Water’s Waterval 2 reservoir were left empty. Although pumping was recovered to 100% at the Eikenhof pump station, the system is still battling to fill the reservoirs,” the utility said.

Twitter users have expressed their frustrations over the water disruptions that have left some residents’ taps dry. 

The Johannesburg South and Crown Gardens reservoirs have been increased to 50% capacity, while the Eagles Nest reservoir has been put on bypass so that water supplies can be built up. 

READ: Large parts of Joburg left without water due to strained infrastructure

Meanwhile, Johannesburg Water has made means to provide water through water tankers to affected areas, including in Brixton, Crosby, Coronationville, Westdene and Melville.

This is not the first time the Eikenhof pump station has experienced power supply issues this year. In January, power tripped at the station after City Power had completed repairs at the site. 

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