Many residents, whose taps dried up on Wednesday morning already, faced an entire day and night without any water as the municipality announced that the supply would only be restored at 4am on Thursday morning. Photo: Danie van der Lith
Many residents, whose taps dried up on Wednesday morning already, faced an entire day and night without any water as the municipality announced that the supply would only be restored at 4am on Thursday morning. Photo: Danie van der Lith

Kimberley has no water

By Patsy Beangstrom - News Editor Time of article published Nov 19, 2015

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Kimberley - In one of the biggest disasters to hit Kimberley, the city has literally run out of water and by Wednesday afternoon there was no water left in the dams at the Newton Reservoir.

As water levels at the Newton Reservoir dropped during the day on Wednesday, supplies to large parts of the city dried up, forcing the Sol Plaatje Municipality to announce the immediate implementation of emergency supply measures.

Many residents, whose taps dried up on Wednesday morning already, faced an entire day and night without any water as the municipality announced that the supply would only be restored at 4am on Thursday morning.

However, further cuts can be expected during the course of the Thursday, depending on the situation.

Municipal spokesman Sello Matsie said on Wednesday afternoon that the water levels at the Newton Reservoir were extremely low, which meant that the municipality was unable to build up enough pressure to supply water, especially to the suburbs.

“With the water supply less than demand, there is a bit of a struggle to build any reserve at all. The situation has been compounded by a leak on a chlorination pipe at the Riverton Purification Plant, which has since been fixed.”

Matsie said all options were being looked at, including dedicating the 900mm pipeline to supply the dams at the Newton Reservoir to speed up the process.

“In order to build up capacity and pressure, we will be implementing a water supply emergency.”

As part of the emergency measures, the water supply was suspended on Wednesday until 4am this morning in order to build the reserves in the 45 mega-litre dam at the Newton Reservoir.

Low-lying areas, which were still able to receive water in the system, were scheduled to also be cut at 8pm last night and the plan was to use both pipes from Riverton, the 450mm and the 900mm, to pump water into the dam at the reservoir.

“We will reassess the impact of these measures this morning and decide on further action,” said Matsie.

He warned that residents could continue to expect nightly interruptions as well as possible further interruptions during the day until the situation had been stabilised.

The lack of water at the Newton Reservoir meant that the municipality was not able to fill up tanks to supply residents with water as it did over the weekend.

“The fire department is also not able to assist as its resources will be kept for its core function, which is to fight fires,” Matsie said.

Mediclinic Kimberley hospital manager, Stephan Deetlefs, said on Wednesday that while no procedures had to be cancelled due to the lack of water, he added that the situation would have to be reassessed on Thursday, depending on whether water was restored or not.

Mediclinic Kimberley has a borehole, as well as a reserve tank of 37 500 litres, and while the water is fit for consumption, Deetlefs pointed out that it could be a struggle to maintain the hospital’s functions if the city’s water problems continued for any length of time.

Mediclinic Gariep has a 120 000-litre reserve and because it is fed from the main line from Riverton, the water supply here is not a major issue as yet.

DFA

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