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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Lightning strikes result in electricity feed failing at Inanda Dam, burns transformer at Nagle Dam; water supply affected

Pumping of water from Inanda Dam to Durban Heights Water Works affected. File Picture: Naeem Pandor

Pumping of water from Inanda Dam to Durban Heights Water Works affected. File Picture: Naeem Pandor

Published Dec 16, 2021

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DURBAN - The thunderstorm experienced in parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday resulted in the electricity feed to Inanda Dam failing after an eThekwini municipal transformer at the Inanda Pump Station was struck by lightning.

Umgeni Water corporate stakeholder manager Shami Harichunder said that this has affected the pumping of water from Inanda Dam to Durban Heights Water Works.

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“As a result of this power supply interruption, reduced volumes of raw is being conveyed to Durban Heights Water Works for treatment and supply to eThekwini Water and Sanitation. This has resulted in some reservoirs in the Durban Heights Water Works supply areas receiving reduced volumes of water. The consequence is ongoing water shortages in some areas that are served by eThekwini Water and Sanitation. This impacts directly on consumers through interruptions in water supply,” Harichunder said.

He said eThekwini Electricity Department staff were treating the repair of the damaged transformer as a priority and were already on-site to conduct work.

Regarding the Nagle Dam, Harichunder said a lightning strike burned an Eskom transformer. The incident was reported to Eskom with a request that repair be treated as priority. Nagle Dam supplies water to Durban Heights Water Works through four aqueducts. This water is treated and supplied to eThekwini Water and Sanitation.

“Damage to the two transformers has created an additional deficit in the raw water supply of approximately 50 million litres per day. There is already a deficit of 30 million litres per day due to the failure of Shaft Pump 1 at Durban Heights Water Works. This means there is now a cumulative deficit of 80 million litres per day, which creates a shortfall in supply of potable water to eThekwini Water and Sanitation to the same magnitude,” Harichunder said.

He said Umgeni Water was aware that the eThekwini Municipality’s call centre continued to receive a large number of calls from consumers affected by erratic water supply.

He also said Umgeni Water wished to apologise for the inconvenience and assured consumers that everything possible was being done to have the two transformers repaired and functioning again. Work on Shaft Pump 1 and repair to Aqueduct 4 were progressing around the clock for the contractors to deliver these projects within agreed time frames.

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