The metro Joint Operations Centre (JOC) has urged all residents to cut back on water usage after a critical pipeline, that supplies the city with a third of its water, burst during the early hours of this morning.
At a crisis press conference meeting this afternoon, Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, said a major pipeline, which carries water from the Churchill dam had burst sometime between midnight and 6am, which had left the Southern region of the Bay without water.
Suburbs affected by the burst pipe are currently being fed with water from reservoirs, which held on average two days worth of reserve water, but once these run dry, these areas could run out of water.
“This situation means that the municipality is facing a major challenge, that will impact on private households and industry,” Wayile said.
The municipality has already notified industry, hospitals and schools about the water shortages and are appealing to all residents to save water wherever possible.
A contractor has already been commissioned to address the problem and begin repairing the pipeline.
Acting Executive Director of Infrastructure and Engineering, Barry Martin, said two pipes, a 1000mm interlocking cement pipe, and a 700mm steel pipe which carried water from the Churchill Dam had burst on private property near Van Staadens Nature Resort.
“The force of the water flowing from the broken pipeline has washed away a hole 10m deep and about 30m wide,” he said.
Martin said the water supply to the pipeline had already been disconnected to prevent any further wastage, and that the contractor was already moving on site.
He said the contractor would begin repairs on the 700mm steel pipeline, which would take between three to five days to repair, as they first needed to fill in the hole to secure the pipe, before they could start work on it.
“Large areas of the Southern Part of the municipality will be affected, including Summerstrand, Walmer, Lorraine, Newton Park, Charlo, Central, Sidwell, Deal Party, Algoa Park, Struandale, Gelvandale, Gelvan Park, Lovemore Heights, Lovemore Park, as well as parts of New Brighton and Kwazakhele,” he said.
Martin said currently these suburbs were being fed with water stored in local reservoirs, but would run dry between 24 and 72 hours, depending on usage and what was in the reservoir at the time the water supply was interrupted.
“We are urging all residents to preserve as much water as possible,” he said.
Martin said the municipality would be looking at increasing water supplies from other supply sources, such as the Nooitgedagt Water Scheme, and redirect this water through unaffected areas to those that have been affected.
“We have also already placed a number of water tankers of standby in order to provide water to those suburbs that do run dry,” he said.
Martin said areas that did run dry could contact the municipality’s emergency service hotline, 0800 20 50 50, which would inform them when water tankers would be in their area.
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