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Shongweni Dam wall did not collapse says Department of Water and Sanitation in KZN

The Department of Water and Sanitation in KwaZulu-Natal confirmed that the dam wall did not collapse and what was seen in a video was two fuse gates popping out. They are designed to do this to release water once the dam level has reached a certain level, and poses no safety risk.

Shongweni Dam. File Picture: Peta Lee

Published Apr 13, 2022

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Durban - The Department of Water and Sanitation in KwaZulu-Natal has said that the Shongweni Dam wall has not collapsed.

A video circulating on social media showing water pouring out of the dam with a note that the dam wall had collapsed had led to concern among residents.

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KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Water and Sanitation confirmed that the dam wall did not collapse and what could be seen in the video was two fuse gates popping out to release water. The gates were designed to do this to release more water once the dam level has reached a certain level, and poses no safety risk.

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Ashley Starkey, KwaZulu-Natal head of Provincial Water and Sanitation said that there are 10 fuse gates at Shongweni Dam; they are part of the safety mechanism to prevent the dam from overfilling.

“When the dam reaches a certain level the gates will automatically pop out to prevent overfilling. In this case, two of the outer fuse gates popped out, releasing water. This is a normal process of the safety mechanism of Shongweni Dam and poses no safety risk. The two fuse gates that have popped out will be replaced. There is no need to be concerned,” he said.

Starkey added that Shongweni Dam is privately owned and does not have sluice gates as in other dams.

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“Hazelmere Dam had a similar problem where the dam was overfilled because of heavy rainfall, however Hazelmere has a different design with the sluice gates, and water was released through the sluice gate which was announced by Umgeni Water,” he said.

The Mercury reported on Monday, that Umgeni Water would be releasing water at Hazelmere Dam to reduce the capacity which was at 65% as it posed a risk to the wall extension that is currently under construction.

THE MERCURY

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