Durban — Full production and supply of drinking water were restored as storm-damage recovery continues.
That was according to the state-owned entity, Umgeni Water, in a statement on Friday.
Umgeni Water said that repair and recovery of bulk water infrastructure damaged in the torrential rains of Tuesday and Wednesday are progressing well and restoration of full reticulation service is expected by this weekend.
“As heavy downpours bucketed the Middle South Coast, the level of the Umthwalume River rose rapidly, causing the wash away of a weir from where raw water is abstracted.
“High levels of turbidity that were out of range were also experienced. Turbidity is caused by particles suspended or dissolved in water that scatter light, making the water appear cloudy or murky. Matter can include sediment, organic compounds, algae and other microscopic organisms,” Umgeni Water said.
It said that in approximately 20 hours, an average of 80mm of rainfall was received. In some areas further south, rainfall received was higher.
“Up until Thursday night this week, Umgeni Water was unable to transfer raw water to the Umthwalume Water Treatment Works for treatment and supply as drinking (potable) water.
“As a result, the Ugu District Municipality was unable to supply water to 18 areas, namely Mathulini, Sibanini, Makhoso, Shlonyaneni, Nkuku, Nkambini, Qoloqolo, Bhunwini, Bangibizo, Mfazazana, Dembese, Mgangeni, Elysium, Ifafa, Mtwalume, Koelwater, Bazley and Sezela,” Umgeni Water said.
Umgeni Water added that civil works in the Umthwalume River have been completed and pumping resumed at 7pm on Thursday, allowing raw water to be transferred to the plant for treatment.
“Production has returned to normal at the plant, and Ugu District Municipality’s supply to the affected areas is being progressively restored.”
Umgeni Water also said that work on repair of the Wiggins Water Treatment Works-Amanzimtoti Water Treatment Works gravity pipe, which developed a large leak during the heavy rains, has been completed by eThekwini Water Services. This potable water pipe is owned and operated by eThekwini Water Services and it supplies several areas in Durban. It also augments the Amanzimtoti Water Treatment Works through the South Coast Booster Pump Station.
During the failure of the pipe, Umgeni Water was unable to receive its quota of water, amounting to 72Ml/d.
“This meant that reduced volumes were supplied to Amanzimtoti in eThekwini and Scottburgh, Scottburgh South, Kelso and Pennington in Ugu. Umkomaas and Umzinto were also partially affected. Supply to the Amanzimtoti Water Treatment Works from the gravity line has been restored and Umgeni Water is again receiving its full quota,” Umgeni Water said.
Meanwhile, in another incident, on Thursday Umgeni Water said that it was unable to operate the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant at optimum.
It said that over those past 24 hours, treatment of raw water and supply of drinking water from the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant, outside Verulam, was severely constrained due to reduced power supply from eThekwini Metro’s Electricity Department.
“The problem has been caused by malfunction of the plant’s main and dedicated power source,” Umgeni Water said.
“Presently power supply power is being shared with other off-takes, which is inadequate for the plant to operate normally. This has resulted in a situation in which Umgeni Water is unable to operate all of the pumps and this may have caused reduced supply to some systems.”
Umgeni Water said that the municipalities that receive drinking water from the Hazelmere Water Treatment Plant are eThekwini Metro and iLembe District Municipality for distribution to Waterloo, Verulam, La Mercy, Sea Tides and Ndwedwe.
It said the plant also supplied drinking water to Siza Water for distribution to consumers in Ballito and Umhlali.
“Malfunction of the dedicated power source and consequently limited power supply have been brought to the attention of the eThekwini Electricity Department. At this stage, there are no time frames as to when the problem will be resolved.”
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