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STATEMENT ON THE WATER SUPPLY  by Mangaliso Matika Executive Mayor Sol Plaatje Municipality early 27/11/2017

The current water interruptions are regretted and everything possible is being done to address it. Unfortunately a combination of factors are complicating a speedy resolution.
The original pipe burst was discovered on Monday during an inspection on the 965 mainline which feeds water from Riverton Works to the Newton Reservoir. A team was dispatched to address the matter. At the time there were no other problems with the purification works and the reservoirs were full to capacity.
Thereafter a process of excavating the site was undertaken, the supply via the mainline was shut in order to drain the pipe. It was not possible to work on the pipe as it was full of water and the leak was at the bottom of the pipe and difficult to access. By Thursday it was repaired and pumping had recommenced.
In the meantime the levels at the reservoirs dropped to around 7.9 feet due to no inflow of water but normal outflow being maintained. It is not possible to supply if levels drop too low as pump “suck” air instead of water. The supply was then interrupted to rebuild reserves.
By Saturday everything was on track with reserves having reached around 14 feet.
On Sunday morning the no 10 pump at Riverton had a problem which is said to bearing related. It has been taken in for repairs and should be operational by Monday afternoon. The effect of this is that two pumps instead of three are pumping water from Riverton to Newton creating a new risk to reserves.
In order to protect reserves whilst maintaining a supply to residents, certain actions were necessary such as limiting supply when levels drop. Fortunately levels are being maintained at around 13 feet as at Monday morning.
We ask society to bear with us until the issue is resolved.
I also want to report that the construction of the new pump station at Riverton is on track. We are installing a complete new pump house with new high capacity pumps to take over the tasks of these old ones. We have been busy with a complete overhaul of the water management infrastructure to avoid recurrence of such problems as are currently experienced. To date we have renewed all the extraction pumps, installed isolation valves at Newton, installed zone meters and pressure relief valves in the city, to name but a few. Currently we are also replacing old pipes at the reservoir. Our ultimate aim is to have a completely new and modern infrastructure that will meet the demands of our citizens.


[18:53, 11/27/2017]  Newton Reservoir: Building of Reserves

We are currently building up water reserves at Newton Reservoir which necessitate that we close off valves so that the bulk of water supply from the Riverton Purification plant goes straight into Newton Reservoir. While this is being done, consideration is made not unnecessarily disrupt the daily activities of households. It must be emphasised that Galeshewe and other areas get their supply directly from the main pipes. Even when valves are closed, there is still 35 million litres in the system which won’t evaporate into the air, it must be used up before taps run dry. As for the closure, kindly be informed that will take place only from around 10:00pm and restarted at 4.00am. The impact is highly limited and from experience, there are large areas which continue to have supply. Therefore the sms doing rounds is incorrect and is causing panic which will have negative consequences as people will now deplete the water reserves

A further note from Sello Matsie: The Pump at Riverton [which was taken offline for repairs] has been installed already. It just needs to be aligned. Will start pumping once it’s done.”


[21:55, 11/27/2017] Riverton Pump Update

Please be advised that the pump at Riverton Purification plant has been restored and we running at full capacity. This will assist to alleviate the current water supply situation.”

Further Information

According to Sol Plaatje Municipality the High Lift Pump which was taken offline for repairs on Sunday is back in place and pumping at full capacity.  No information has been released yet on how this will affect the water levels at Newton Reservoir and if or for how long the nightly watershedding will continue.

Although the official times for watershedding is 10pm to 4am the nightly shutdown can start earlier.  Last night at 9pm there were already reports of almost no water pressures.

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