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Kimberley Water Crisis Updates

Kimberley Water Crisis Updates

KIMBERLEY WATER CRISIS UPDATES

09:30 22/11/2015 KIMBERLEY WATER UPDATE

Water levels at Newton are still climbing. Three of the four dams are full and the 102ML dam us current being filled and expected to be stabilized by Tuesday.
Figures supplied by Sello Matsie of Municipal Communications.

10:15 21/11/2015 KIMBERLEY WATER UPDATE

The 23ML dam is at 12 feet.  Water is continuously being pumped in from Riverton and out the City from this dam.
The 91  ML dam is now at 13ft and climbing, and are excepted to be stabilized by tonight.
The municipality plans to start pumping water into the 102 ML dam tonight, and if all goes well levels in all four dams should be stabilized by Tuesday.
Figures supplied by Sello Matsie of Municipal Communications.

09:00 21/11/2015 KIMBERLEY WATER UPDATE

Water levels at Newton are climbing. An update early this morning from Mr Goolam Akharwaray put level of the 91 Mega Litre dam at 11 feet.
Yesterdays appeal to the public to save on water was successful, water usage went down and pressure started to rise again.  The rain brought further relieve as gardens, grass and parks did not need watering which brought down water usage even more.
Please continue to use water sparingly until levels in all dams have stabilized.

16:40 20/11/2015 KIMBERLEY WATER UPDATE
Update From Johan Smit of the DA
“Nou Mnr Akharwaray, munisipale bestuurder, gepraat.
Die watervlakke hou.
Die gemeenskap het gehoor gegee aan die noodkreet om te bespaar.
Hy spreek sy dank uit.
Hy het bevestig dat geen sny van water vandag gaan plaasvind nie.
Waterdruk steeds nie op ‘n normaal nie om te help dat watervlakke vinniger kan op tel
Enige areas wat tans nie water het nie kan met myself kontak.
Johan Smit, 0832613189”

AREAS STILL WITHOUT WATER
If your taps are still empty, one of your options is to contact your municipal ward councillor. He/She is your representative at Sol Plaatje Municipality and included in their duties is being the communication link between you and the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
If your councillor is unreachable or not willing to assist you contact the regional office the the political party he/she is affiliated to.
You can find a list of Ward Councillors with their contact details here: Kimberley Sol Plaatje Municipality Ward Councillors 

URGENT MESSAGE received from Johan Smit @ 12:00
Sol Plaatje Waterbestuur is erg bekommerd dat as die hoë waterverbruik so gaan voortduur, hulle weer sal moet water sny na woonbuurte.
Hulle is bewus dat huishoudings water in hul persoonlike opgaartenks pomp wat positief is, maar daar word ‘n beroep gedoen dat inwoners alle ander waterverbruik tot die minimum sal beperk.
Kom ons vat hande en trek die wa deur die drif mede bewoners.
Stuur asb die boodskap aan so veel moontlik mense op jul adreslyste.”
ENGLISH TRANSLATION
“Sol Plaatje Water Management is very concerned that if the current high water usage continues they will have no choice but to cut water to Kimberley’s neighbourhoods again.
They are aware that households are pumping water into their personal water tanks, which is positive, but residents are urged to limit all water usage to the minimum.
Let’s take hands to pull through this crisis with our fellow residents.
Please forward this message to as many people as you can on your address lists”

PLEASE SAVE WATER – UPDATE 11:10 20/11/2015

URGENT!!! PLEASE SAVE WATER NOW – UPDATE 11:15 20/11/2015
There is an urgently appeal to the people of Kimberley to use water sparingly; save wherever you can.
Usage is exceeding inflow and water levels at Newton are dropping fast. If usage is not reduced drastically the municipality may be forced to cut the water supply to Kimberley again.
Please do not water gardens, lawns and parks or wash cars.

ORIGINAL NOTICE FROM JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA
“Nou net met die ingenieur gepraat.
Ons gebruik meer water as wat Riverton kan lewer.
Die 91 dam het reeds 3vt gesak.
As ons water teen die tempo gebruik gaan die water weer gesny word om sodoende vlakke op te tel.
Moet asb nie spreiers op grasperke sit en tuine natmaak nie.
Ooral waar ek ry sien mens spreiers op grasperke wat loop.
Ook skole en parke.”

KIMBERLEY WATER RESTORATION UPDATE 10:00 20/11/2015

Please use water VERY SPARINGLY, and SAVE on usage wherever you can.
Pressure is dropping in high laying areas, due to high usage and the building of reserves.

The 23 Mega Litre & 42 Mega Litre dams at Newton is full and being held as reserve.
The 91 Mega Litre dam currently at 3 feet and being filled.

IF YOU STILL HAVE NO WATER
It is possible that it may be due to a problem not related with the supply from Newton Reservoir.
Please contact Sol Plaatje’s Call Centre.
https://www.kimberley.org.za/log-faults-sol-plaatje-municipality/

UPDATE FROM JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA
“Die 23Mega liter en die 42Mega liter damme by Newton waterwerke is vol en word gehou as reserve.
Die 91Mega liter dam word nou gevul. Vlak is tans 3vt. Die water wat tans inkom in die dam word direk uitgelaat in die netwerk. Aanvraag is hoog.
Die druk sal op die stadium nie normaal wees by die verbruiker
nie omdat slegs een pomp by Newton aangeskakel is om sodoende die 91 en 102 se damvlakke vinniger te lig na vol.”

KIMBERLEY WATER RESTORATION UPDATE 08:00 20/11/2015

Pressure is still very low in some areas, but there is water in the taps and most people are happy.  PLEASE CONTINUE TO USE WATER VERY SPARINGLY until levels at all the dams at Newton Reservoir have stabilized.

We will post an update during the morning as new information becomes available.

IF YOU STILL HAVE NO WATER
Please contact Sol Plaatje’s Call Centre.
https://www.kimberley.org.za/log-faults-sol-plaatje-municipality/


 

 

UPDATE 19:28 19/11/2015 From Sol Plaatje Municipality
“The levels at Newton are raising and we looking at having full pressure tonight around midnight. Immediately we reach the target of 16ft on two of the dams. We will start pumping and the loss of flooding the remainder of the system will still leave us with enough pressure to continue without Interruption. The off takes will not be closed off as we are reaching our targets. Thanks for the cooperation and your frustration is well understood. Apology for the inconvenience.

The levels at Newton are raising and we looking at having full pressure tonight around midnight. Immediately we reach the target of 16ft on two of the dams. We will start pumping and the loss of flooding the remainder of the system will still leave us with enough pressure to continue without Interruption. The off takes will not be closed off as we are reaching our targets. Thanks for the cooperation and your frustration is well understood. Apology for the inconvenience.”

UPDATE FROM 19:27  19/11/2015 From JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA
“Nou net ‘n water vergadering gehad by Newton waterwerke met ingenieurs en die munisipale bestuurder.
Alles dui dat Kimberley môreoggend sal wakker word met water in die pype.
Sodra die 43Mega liter dam 10vt bereik, dit behoort hier rondom 02:00 môreoggend te wees volgens die tempo waarteen water nou gepomp word, gaan die kleppe na alle woonbuurte oopgemaak word en die pompe aangeskakel word.”

UPDATE 18:30 19/11/2015 CURRENT STATE OF KIMBERLEY’S WATER SUPPLIES

Newton Reservoir Levels - 19/11/2015-18-00

Photo via Johan Smit

The 23 Mega Litre dam is on 16 feet, the maximum level is 16.9 feet.
The 43 Mega Litre dam is on 7 feet
The 91 Mega Litre and 102 Mega Litre dams are sill empty.
Riverton Pumping Station is still pumping at full capacity to Newton Reservoir

Click here for public water distribution information.

ORIGINAL INFORMATION VIA JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA

“Die 23 Mega liter dam se vlak is op 16vt. Op 16,9vt is die dam vol.
Die 43Mega liter dam staan nou op 7vt.
Die 91Mega liter en die 102Mega liter dam leeg.
Die waterpunt voor in die straat trek tans uit die 43Mega liter dam uit.
Riverton loop vol kapasiteit.”

UPDATE 14:00 19/11/2015 – Ware are receiving information that Sol Plaatje will not cut the water supply to the city any-more, but that they will continue to supply low laying areas from the main supply lines while simultaneously pumping water into the Newton Reservoir. – Currently is very difficult to obtain or verify information.

ALL WE CAN SAY IS: The water supply is extremely unreliable and so is the information released by the authorities.  When you have water in your taps, stock up.

UPDATE 12:50 19/11/2015
No water will be supplied to Kimberley until 5am tomorrow (Friday) in an attempt to build the reserves at the Newton Reservoir. If the levels in the dams go above the 10ft level before then, a decision might be taken to switch the water on earlier.

The situation will be monitored and a decision will be taken around 7pm tonight. In the meantime, the fire department is providing water to members of the public at the Civic Centre (Lyndhurst Road). They must just bring their own containers and these can be filled. Residents who have jo-jo tanks on trailers can fill these up at the Newton Reservoir.

UPDATE 10:35 19/11/2015

We received and update from Johan Smith that from 12:00pm water tanks will be placed at the Civic Centre to distribute water to the public.  The public have to bring their own containers.
Members of the public with mobile water tanks on trailers or other vehicles can fill up Newton Reservoir from 12:00pm today.  Look the Fire Department vehicle who will be filling the tanks.

ORIGINAL INFORMATION FORM JOHAN SMIT
“Daar sal water tenks geplaas word by die Civic centre en lede van die publiek kan water daar gaan tap hulle moet slegs hul eie houers saam neem water sal beskikbaar wees vanaf 12 uur . Mense wat water waentjies het met jo jo tenks op kan vanaf 12 uur by die newton reservoir gaan water haal. Kyk net uit vir die Brandweervoertuig wat dan die tenkies daar sal vul.”

UPDATE 09:00 19/11/2015

Riverton Pumping Station is currently pumping at full capacity into the 23 Mega Litre dam at Newton.  From there water is being let into the city’s water distribution network.  The levels in the dam is still too low for the pumps supplying high laying areas to be activated.  Some areas will start to receive low pressure water.  There is no promise that water will reach all of Kimberley today..

As no help is currently coming from the Municipality, Saam Staam Kimberley URGENTLY need water containers to distribute water to the public. Five Litre containers are optimum.
Please contact Linja Van Wyk on 072 011 2335 if you can assist.
Anyone with  mobile JoJo tanks which can help distribute water can also contact Linja.

UPDATE FORM JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA

“Water word tans direk van Riverton af in die netwerk ingelaat deur die 23Mega liter dam. Ander damme steeds afgesluit.
Watervlak in hierdie 23Mega liter deurlaat dam steeds te laag om pompe aan te skakel.
Die inligting wat ek deurgee is nie beloftes nie. Dit is die beplanning van die ingenieurs op ‘n spesifieke tydstip. Die beplanning kan enige tyd aanpas na gelang van nuwe inligting waarop die ingenieurs hul berekeninge maak.
Ons gebruik steeds veel meer water as wat Riverton lewer.”

UPDATE 07:15 19/11/2015

At 6am this morning we received word from Johan Smit of the DA that no water was being pumped into the cities water distribution network. Johan is currently working to obtain information on the current state of this crisis. Up to now there has been no further updates or information from Sol Plaatje Municipality.
There is also no information available on when water will be back in Kimberly’s taps.
As soon as any information become available we will distribute to the public.

Last night we at City Portal sat down and made a couple of calculation with the little information which is available.  From the results we just could not see how the municipality would be able to supply water to all of Kimberley at 4am, or sustainably during the day.  For that reason we posted this warning just after 12am this morning.
WARNING: No one can guarantee that the whole of Kimberley will have water today, or how long water supply can be sustained.  The city’s water distribution pipe network is virtually drained with only some pockets of water left in a few places.  This morning when the water supply is switched back on the city’s pipelines need to be bled, filled and pressurised again.  There may just not be enough water at Newton to do this without levels falling too low to keep supplying high laying areas, especially since water usage climb as water reach more areas.
The engineers at waterworks are working on finding solutions to overcome this very difficult task of raising extremely low reservoir levels while supplying water to the city during the day. Without the full water reservoirs to kick start this process, this can take longer than a week even with nightly watershedding in place.  During this time there may be spells where some areas have no water during the day.”

Throughout this crisis information updates from Sol Plaatje has been limited, mostly vague and, either late or giving very short notice.

THE WATER SUPPLY TO ALL AREAS IN KIMBERLEY HAS BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2015 AT 4AM – THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT ALL AREAS WILL HAVE WATER THIS MORNING AT 4AM

UPDATE 19/11/2015 00:01
No areas was being spared last night and the supply has been turned off for the whole of Kimberley, from Greenpoint through to Galeshewe.  Low laying areas like Cassandra may still have water in their taps, being gravity fed with residual water in the pipes lines running down to them.

Sol Paatje Waterworks Engineers finished an inspection of Newton Reservoir at about 21:30 last night and then left to inspect the Riverton Pumping Station.

Riverton is pumping water to the city at maximum capacity.  The goal is to raise levels in the 45 mega litre dam as high as possible during the night, as the pumps supplying high laying areas cannot function with levels below 7 to 8 feet.

WARNING: No one can guarantee that the whole of Kimberley will have water today, or how long water supplies can be sustained.  The city’s water distribution pipe network is virtually drained with only some pockets of water left in a few places.  This morning when the water supply is switched back on the city’s pipelines need to be bled, filled and pressurised again.  There may just not be enough water at Newton to do this without levels falling too low to keep supplying high laying areas, especially since water usage climb as water reach more areas.
The engineers at waterworks are working on finding solutions to overcome this very difficult task of raising extremely low reservoir levels while supplying water to the city during the day. Without the full water reservoirs to kick start this process, this can take longer than a week even with nightly watershedding in place.  During this time there may be spells where some areas have no water during the day.

Yesterdays valve problem at Riverton reset the restoration process back to zero, but now the municipality does not have the boost to kick start the system provided by full reservoirs.

Kimberley IS in a water crisis.   Residents, business, schools and government are urged to use water very sparingly.  Tough decisions will have to be made and everyone has to work together to bring this crisis to an end.

A PERSONAL NOTE BY THE AUTHOR: “We have excellent highly skilled people at Sol Plaatje Waterworks.  Please do not put all the blame on them when a crisis hits.  They have a limited budget and limited resources to run and maintain an ageing water system. It can barely provide enough water during high usage periods when everything runs smoothly.  At times there is a fine balance between incoming water flow out outing flow.  When something go wrong there is may not enough room to maneuver, and the city can fall into a water supply crisis.  They are working very hard to overcome the current water crisis.  They don’t control what communications are sent out, they don’t set policy, they don’t determine the budget, and they don’t control spending.  Our water infrastructure is ageing are parts are crumbling.  Infrastructure faults will surface, equipment will malfunction and yes, human error will occur (like it does everywhere), but there is hardly any margin for error.  Take yesterday’s incident at Riverton for example:  After the fact information indicates waterworks were quick on the scene and the problem was resolved. It is not their fault the public was kept in the dark, and it is not their fault that there is not enough spare capacity in the network to bridge today’s problem.
At this moment the Waterworks Department must be under tremendous pressure from both the public and municipal management, let’s show Waterworks some respect and direct blame at those at the municipality who actually deserve it.”

Update from Johan Smit of the DA @ 21:25 18/11/105
“Kom nou net van Newton af.
Ingenieurs is nou daar besig om damvlakke na te gaan om berekende besluite te neem.
Hulle is nou op pad na Riverton om hulle te vergewis van dinge daar.
Alle water word nou toegemaak tot môreoggend 4:00.
Vanaf Roodepan en Galeshewe reg deur tot by Greenpoint.
Alle water word deur die nag in die 45Mega liter dam gepomp om sodoende te begin om die damme een een op vlak te kry.”

Photo Posted by Gloria Hawkins van Heerden

Photo Posted by Gloria Hawkins van Heerden

A problem valve close to Riverton Pumping Station necessitated the shut-down of all pumps but one. Currently no water is being pumped to Kimberley, and the dams at Newton Reservoir are dry. The fault has now been resolved, and within the next half hour water should start flowing at full capacity to Kimberley. Restoring water to Kimberley’s residents will take time as large parts if the pipe network is currently empty.


NOTICE FROM SOL PLAATJE MUNICIPALITY 16:30 18/11/2015

Please advised that the water levels at Newton Reservoir are at an extremely low point, which effectively means we are unable to build up enough pressure to supply water to the city especially the high lying Suburbs. The inability to  balance the water supply and demand has led to a struggle to build up reserves. The situation was compounded by a leak on a chlorination pipe at the Riverton Purification plant which has been fixed already.

All options are being looked at and implemented to raise these levels including using the 900mm pipeline totally dedicated to supply the dams at Newton to speed up the process including supply to the off take, this means the low lying areas will also be interrupted. In order to build up capacity and pressure, we will be implementing a water supply emergency. We will suspend water supply until tomorrow, Thursday 19th November 2015 at 4am in order to build the reserve on the 45 mega litre dam. We will reassess the impact in the morning and decide on further action and residents can expect nightly interruptions including during  the day:00 on a daily basis until the situation has stabilised.  Apology for the inconvenience.” – Sol Plaatje Communications

Riverton Pumping Station Leak Mickey Dangerez

Photo Posted by Mickey Dangerez

NOTICE FROM JOHAN SMIT OF THE DA 16:15 18/11/2015

‘n Klep by Riverton het probleme gegee. Slegs een pomp kon water aan Newton verskaf.
Die probleem is herstel by Riverton. Hulle gaan binne die volgende halfuur volle kapasiteit aan Newton herstel.
Op die stadium word geen water in die waternetwerk in Kimberley gepomp nie.
Alle damme is dol leeg.
Die hele pype-netwerk is ook leeg.
Ek sal inligting deurgee soos beskikbaar.

 

Sol Plaatje Municipality cannot guarantee that all areas will have water this morning, or how long problem areas will have water.

Low lying areas in Kimberley are less affected by low water levels at Newton Reservoir as they can be gravity fed, but high lying areas are fed by a pumping system.  The water level in currently active dams at Newton Reservoir needs to be at least 8 feet for these pumps to operate.  When the water level drops below this level, the pumps have to be switched off and water cannot reach high lying areas.

Currently only the two small dams at Newton Reservoir are in use as it takes much less water to reach levels to where water can be pumped to the high lying areas.  In a further attempt to raise the dam levels, nightly water shedding has once again been introduced in Kimberley.

“The plan is twofold – on the one hand we will maintain water within the network by pumping directly into the system from the one pipe coming from Riverton, while the other pipe will be used to pump into the dams at the Newton Reservoir in order to build the reserves up again,” Municipal Manager, Goolam Akharwaray, said.

According to Mr Akharwaray the unforeseen delays with the past weekends work together with the high water usage once the supply was restored, led to the current water crisis.

“On Sunday morning when we switched on the smaller 650mm pipe there was a jerk effect as the water came through, resulting in the steel pipe bending. That alerted the team to the possibility of a similar problem with the 950mm pipe and it was decided to build a truss to support the pipe, rather than take a chance and possibly have to start everything over from the beginning. The total delay was therefore about 30 hours, which meant that we were not able to pump sufficient water into the dams at the Newton Reservoir.”

“Although the two largest dams at the reservoir were full when the water was restored, the first dam was completely drained in order to fill the empty reticulation system.”

“Meanwhile, because we were still not able to use the 950mm pipe, the amount of water being pumped from Riverton was insufficient to meet the demand on Monday. A decision was taken to use the reserve water in the second dam because it was felt we couldn’t leave residents without water for another day.”

“I must give the assurance, however, that although the current reserves are depleted, the municipality’s capacity to supply residents with water is intact,” Goolam once again reiterated.

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